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College of the Desert Named Among Finalists for Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

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College of the Desert has been named one of 150finalists for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the college announced Wednesday.

Awarded by the nonprofit Aspen Institute every two years, the prize is awarded to schools for achievement in four areas: learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

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College of the Desert was recently selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges across the country to compete for the 2019 prize. ``College of the Desert is honored to be considered for such a prestigious prize,'' Superintendent and President Joel L. Kinnamon said.

``As the fastest growing community college in California with record-breaking numbers of students achieving certificates and degrees for the past three years, we are very proud of our students' successes, our constant self-analysis, and our continuous improvement as an institution of quality higher education. As the Coachella Valley knows, we have a great story to tell and we can't wait to share it nationally.''

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The next step will be submitting an application to be placed among the top 10 finalists, which will be named next May. A Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner, finalist(s) with distinction and rising star(s) in spring 2019.

``Especially in the current social and economic climate, it is exceptionally important that our nation's community colleges develop the diverse talent needed to fuel democratic engagement, social mobility, and economic opportunity and growth,'' said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. ``Through this competition, we're working to inspire other institutions across our country to ensure more students succeed in college and their lives beyond those campuses.''

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