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CTE Policy Watch

Aspen Institute Awards Community College Excellence


March 20, 2013

By: Catherine

Yesterday, Santa Barbara City College in California and Walla Walla Community College in Washington were recognized as co-winners of the 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

According to Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program, both schools excel at preparing students for jobs and for transfer to four-year colleges. Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) has focused on alignment and support services that help students meet the standards to transfer to and excel at four-year colleges.  This has paid off in its high transfer rate: 64 percent of first-time, full-time students transfer or graduate within three years compared with the national average of 40 percent, reports the Aspen Institute. In addition, SBCC has created the largest dual enrollment program among California's 112 community colleges.

Walla Walla has concentrated on the regional labor market, working closely with businesses and adding and trimming courses based on industry needs. Walla Walla also mandates personal, academic and career advising and uses technology to counsel students and track their progress to a degree. A sign of their success is graduate earnings: in 2011, new graduates earned $41,548, which is about 80 percent higher than the wages of other new hires in the region.

In addition to the winners, 8 other institutions were recognized as exemplary community colleges:

Finalists with Distinction

Lake Area Technical Institute (Watertown, SD)
Kingsborough Community College-CUNY (Brooklyn, NY)


Brazosport College (Lake Jackson, TX)
Broward College (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
College of the Ouachitas (Malvern, AR)
Santa Fe College (Gainesville, FL)
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (Cumberland, KY)
West Kentucky Community and Technical College (Paducah, KY)

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CTE Policy Watch Blog

Administration’s Budget Proposal Restores Sequester Cut to CTE Funding but Still Falls Short of Need

Earlier today, the Obama Administration released its budget proposal for FY 2014. This document, normally released in February but delayed due to the other fiscal issues in play this spring, outlines the Administration's spending priorities for the coming year.

Duncan Talks 2014 Budget on Capitol Hill

8/12/13 By: Mitch Following the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request on Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the Administration’s plan for funding education in the coming fiscal year. In the budget proposal, the Administration suggests funding Perkins at 1.1 billion, equal to FY 2012 levels, before sequestration. Additionally, the budget proposes a $10 million increase for the National Programs line item which is designated for a new dual enrollment program focused on career preparation. Despite requests for an overall increase in education funding, the Administration's budget does not prioritize additional investments to meet the growing needs in CTE. During the hearing on Thursday, both Republican and Democratic members of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee expressed apprehensions about the Administration’s strong focus on increasing funding for competitive grant programs. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking-member of the subcommittee, talked about her concern for formula-funded education programs, like Perkins, which largely did not receive increases in funding. “The emphasis on competitive funding I find troubling,” said DeLauro. “What is need is steady secure funding for all of our schools to move toward improvement.” Federal investments in education must be directed to those areas with a proven track record of success that provide all students with equal access and opportunity. Members of the subcommittee will now begin to draft an appropriations bill that will fund Perkins in FY 2014. Let Congress know that it is time to make investing in Perkins a priority!


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