Highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America s community colleges, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has ranked Mitchell Technical Institute as one of the nation s 120 best community colleges. The Aspen Institute identified the 120 community colleges — 10 percent of all institutions in the United States. These colleges will now compete for the prestigious honor following a year-long research process into how well their students learn, complete degrees, and get jobs with competitive wages after graduating. Prize winners will be announced in March 2013.
The 120 community colleges announced today were selected from a national pool of over 1,000 public two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes. The data were analyzed by an expert advisory committee co-chaired by William Trueheart, CEO of Achieving the Dream, and Keith Bird, former chancellor of the Kentucky Community College System.
American employers have jobs open right now but lack enough skilled, educated workers to fill them, Engler said. The job training programs at community colleges must play a central role in filling those gaps and preparing the American workforce. Community colleges success will help determine whether and in what sectors America will continue to lead in the global economy.
Technical education has recently been at the center of discussion in South Dakota as a way to help develop the workforce to fill jobs in highly skilled areas. Gov. Dennis Daugaard s South Dakota Wins program is one initiative on which MTI is collaborating.
Ten finalists will be named in September. The Aspen Institute will conduct site visits to each of the finalists in the fall. A distinguished Prize Jury co-chaired by John Engler, president of Business Roundtable, former Michigan Governor, and former president of the National Association of Manufacturers and Richard Riley, former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education, will select a grand prize winner and four runners-up.