October 12, 2017 5:13 pm

In recognition of its commitment to student success, the prestigious Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has named Pierce College Fort Steilacoom to its list of the nation’s top 150 community colleges. Pierce College is one of only six colleges in Washington state to be named to the list.

Colleges on the list were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year institutions nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes in performance, improvement and equity. Colleges on the list are now eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize.

“Earning this recognition from the Aspen Institute for the fourth time validates the quality of the people and the programs we have here, as well as the motivation of our students,” said Pierce College Fort Steilacoom President Denise Yochum. “It’s an honor to be recognized on a national level for our focus on student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students.”

Awarded every two years since 2011, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in learning, college completion without delay, and service as a training ground for jobs that pay competitive wages.

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom will move on to the next round of competition for the Aspen Prize by submitting an application to be reviewed through a rigorous evaluation for a spot on the top 10 Aspen Prize finalists list. The top 10 list will be released in May 2018, and the grand prize winner will be recognized in Spring 2019.

Other Washington community colleges on the list are Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Olympic College, Renton Technical College, South Puget Sound Community College and Whatcom Community College.