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KCC Semifinalist for Prestigious 2025 Aspen Prize

Kingsborough Community College is a  Semifinalist for Prestigious 2025 Aspen Prize

Kingsborough Community College is a Semifinalist for Prestigious 2025 Aspen Prize

The Aspen Institute Names Kingsborough Community College is a Semifinalist for Prestigious 2025 Aspen Prize

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program announced today that Kingsborough Community College (KCC) is one of the 20 national semifinalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, eligible to compete for $1 million in shared prize funds and the only semifinalist from New York State. The semifinalists stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success, as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds. The list will be narrowed to 10 finalists in early June; the Aspen Prize winner will be announced in late spring 2025. 

Launched in 2010 and awarded every two years, the $1 million Aspen Prize is the nation’s signature recognition of community colleges that are achieving high, improving, and equitable outcomes for students. (Former President Obama called it the “Oscars for great community colleges.”) The College has made the Aspen Prize list eight consecutive times and has been named a semifinalist four times, ending in the top 10 three times. They were named an Aspen Prize Finalist in 2019 and 2023 and a Finalist with Distinction in 2013. 

"We are incredibly honored to once again be named a semifinalist for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence,” noted Interim KCC President Suri Duitch. “This recognition fuels our passion for empowering our diverse student body, fostering inclusive learning environments, and ensuring that every student has the support they need to thrive academically and beyond.”  

The Aspen Prize honors colleges with outstanding performance in six critical 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 students from low-income backgrounds. 

Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, congratulated the semifinalists. “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,” Wyner said. “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.” 

The semifinalists are:

Broward College - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Georgia Highlands College - Rome, Georgia

Kingsborough Community College - Brooklyn, New York

MiraCosta College - Oceanside, California

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College - Perkinston, Mississippi

Moorpark College - Moorpark, California

North Iowa Area Community College - Mason City, Iowa

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College - Green Bay, Wisconsin

Northwest Iowa Community College - Sheldon, Iowa

Northwest Vista College - San Antonio, Texas

San Jacinto College - Pasadena, Texas

Seminole State College of Florida - Sanford, Florida

South Puget Sound Community College - Olympia, Washington

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College - Fennimore, Wisconsin

State Technical College of Missouri - Linn, Missouri

Trinidad State College - Trinidad, Colorado

Union College of Union County, NJ - Cranford, New Jersey

Wallace State Community College-Hanceville - Hanceville, Alabama

Western Technical College - La Crosse, Wisconsin

William Rainey Harper College - Palatine, Illinois 

The Aspen Prize selection process began in October 2023, when Aspen invited 150 community colleges to apply, based on data showing strong, improving, and equitable student outcomes in key areas such as retention, completion, and transfer. One hundred and eighteen colleges applied, and their applications were sent to a diverse selection committee of 18 higher education experts, who assessed each application based on extensive data and narrative answers to questions. Twenty semifinalists were selected after interviews were conducted with leadership teams of applicants receiving top scores. The committee will continue its review and, in the coming weeks, will narrow the field to 10 finalists. The finalists will be announced in June. 

After the 10 finalists are announced, the next steps in the process include:

  • Fall 2024: Multi-day in-person site visits to each of the 10 finalists, during which the Aspen Institute and partners will collect additional information and data, including extensive employment and earnings data on graduates from the finalist colleges.
  • Winter 2025: A distinguished, independent Aspen Prize jury will review data and qualitative summaries that synthesize each part of the 14-month analyses, then meet for a full day to select the winner and others for additional recognition.
  • Spring 2025: Announcement of the Aspen Prize winner and celebration of the 10 finalists in Washington, DC. 

To read more about the selection process, visit


The Aspen Prize is generously funded by Ascendium, the Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and the Kresge Foundation.

Founded in 1963, Kingsborough Community College is Brooklyn’s only community college and is part of the City University of New York (CUNY). Located on a 70-acre campus in Manhattan Beach, Kingsborough remains firmly committed to its mission of providing both liberal arts and career education, promoting student learning and development, as well as strengthening and serving its diverse community.  Kingsborough provides a high-quality education through associate degree programs that prepare students for transfer to senior colleges or entry into the workforce. Serving approximately 11,000 full- and part-time students annually and an additional 20,000 students in its expanding continuing education program, Kingsborough has earned recognition as a Leader College of Distinction for excellence in student success by Achieving the Dream, and has been identified as a Top Community College in the nation by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program eight consecutive times.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program supports colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy. We know it takes visionary college leaders to lead scaled, sustainable reforms,  and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes. For more information, visit and follow them on LinkedIn and X.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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