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Nov. 5, 2019
Southeast Technical Institute and Mitchell Technical Institute have been ranked among the nation’s top 150 community colleges by The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.
That makes them eligible to compete for the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million in prize funds, as well as the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award.
Based on strong and improving student outcomes, including in learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings, and equity, 15 percent of community colleges nationwide have been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize.
Southeast Tech president Robert Griggs and MTI president Mark Wilson issued a joint statement: “We are honored to once again be nominated for recognition by The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. South Dakota has one of the finest technical education systems in the nation, and our state’s technical institutes are achieving their primary goal every day of preparing a skilled workforce for South Dakota. Students can be confident that their education prepares them for in-demand technical careers. Business and industry can be assured that graduates are ready to take on the challenges of the modern workplace.”
The 150 community colleges named today as eligible to compete for the 2021 Aspen Prize were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes. They are located in 39 states and each serves from 500 to 75,000 students.
The top 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in spring 2021.
Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown won the Aspen Prize in 2017. MTI was a top 10 finalist in 2019.
Mitchell Technical Institute and Southeast Technical Institute have been ranked among the nation’s top 150 community colleges by The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.