South Puget Sound Community College semifinalist for biennial award for excellence in student outcomes

SPSCC among 20 community colleges being considered for the 2025 Aspen Prize 


The Aspen Institute named the South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) as one of the 20 semifinalists for the 2025 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

The $1 million prize is the institute’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among community colleges with the winner expected in the spring of 2025. 

The 2023 Aspen Institute College Excellence Program once recognized SPSCC as a top 10 best community college in the U.S.

The Aspen Institute also selected SPSCC as a 2023 Top 10 Finalist, 2021 Top 150, 2019 Top 150, and 2017 Top 150.

The program supports colleges and universities in achieving higher standards of excellence and delivering credentials that strengthen the economy, society, and democracy.

"Being named an Aspen semifinalist fills us with an immense sense of pride and gratitude," said SPSCC President Dr. Timothy Stokes in the college’s press release. "For almost a decade, our staff and faculty have relentlessly redefined our approach to serving students, placing their success at the forefront of everything we do.

“Through innovation, risk-taking, and never settling for ‘good enough,’ we’ve fostered a campus community that prioritizes and honors every student, and it's truly gratifying to see this commitment acknowledged at a national scale," continued Stokes.

The prize, awarded every two years, honors excellent performance in six areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, broad access to the college and its offerings, and equitable outcomes for students of color and low-income backgrounds.

“Each of these colleges has demonstrated a sustained commitment to moving beyond enrollment and retention as the markers of student success to defining their success by whether the education they provide changes lives,” said Joshua Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program said, as stated in the press release.

“These colleges understand that enrollment and graduation matter most when tied tightly to post-graduation success in transferring for a bachelor’s degree and in securing fulfilling, good-paying jobs and careers,” added Wyner.

The semi-finalists for this cycle are: 

  • Broward College
  • Georgia Highlands College
  • Kingsborough Community College
  • MiraCosta College
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
  • Moorpark College
  • North Iowa Area Community College
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
  • Northwest Iowa Community College
  • Northwest Vista College
  • San Jacinto College
  • Seminole State College of Florida
  • South Puget Sound Community College
  • Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
  • State Technical College of Missouri
  • Trinidad State College
  • Union College of Union County, NJ
  • Wallace State Community College-Hanceville
  • Western Technical College
  • William Rainey Harper College

The Aspen Prize is not eligible for past winners.


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