October 2017

Palm Beach State College is once again among the top 150 community colleges in the nation eligible to compete for the coveted 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.


The $1 million Aspen Prize is the signature recognition of high achievement in America’s community colleges. Using publicly available data on student outcomes, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program chose the top 150 community colleges from nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges. PBSC has been on the list each year since the award began in 2011. This year, 14 Florida colleges are on the list.

“We’re proud to be considered one of the top 150 colleges in the country,’’ said Dr. Roger Yohe, vice president of academic affairs. “The fact that we continue to make the list is a testament to our efforts to help students succeed.”

Awarded every two years, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

Yohe said PBSC has implemented advisement and enrollment management strategies that have helped boost the retention and completion rates. He said the retention rate for one fall term to the next is 67 percent. He also said that 96 percent of students who complete their education at PBSC get a job or successfully transfer to a university.

“We have a student-centered learning environment with our faculty focused on student success beyond their individual classrooms. We have an increased focus on continuous improvement, and those colleges that get recognized have those key elements in place.”

PBSC must now submit an application for the next phase of the competition. After the rigorous process, the top 10 finalists will be named in May 2018. The Aspen Institute will then visit the finalists to collect additional qualitative data. An Aspen Prize jury will choose a grand-prize winner, finalists with distinction and rising stars in spring 2019.

Serving 49,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida's first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.

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