Florida College System leads the nation with 14 chosen Tallahassee In the first round of competition, 14 Florida colleges have been deemed eligible to apply for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The Sunshine State again leads the nation in the number of colleges qualified to compete for part of the $1 million award in recognition of the institutions academic performance and workforce outcomes. They will compete with 106 other twoyear colleges from 31 states nationwide for the prestigious award. Valencia College in Orlando was the winner last year. I am extremely proud that our Florida colleges are again demonstrating the quality of education available for students in the Sunshine State who are pursuing higher education, said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. They deserve our gratitude and support for the tremendous job they do in preparing students for Floridas future workforce needs. In a comprehensive review of publicly available data, colleges were selected based on institutional performance in three general areas: student success in persistence, completion and transfer; consistent improvement in outcomes over time; and equity in outcomes for students of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. No more than half of each states institutions are eligible. This competition looks at completion numbers, improvements over time and equity outcomes, said Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna. Our colleges excel in all these measures and its an honor that they are being recognized for these important indicators of success. The Florida colleges eligible to compete for The Aspen Prize are Brevard Community College Broward College Chipola College College of Central Florida Indian River State College LakeSumter Community College Miami Dade College Northwest Florida State College Palm Beach State College PascoHernando Community College Saint Johns River State College Santa Fe College South Florida Community College Tallahassee Community College For more information about The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, visit http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policywork/aspenprize/2013eligibleinstitutions.