Delta to compete for Aspen Prize

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Striving for academic excellence is a goal for any community college.

In being nominated for the Aspen Prize, Delta College is proving its excellence to the nation.

“The Aspen Institute … has a program promoting community college excellence and what they’ve done is they’ve done this now five times, started in 2011,” said Matthew Wetstein, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction & Planning.

The prize for winning the award is $1 million dollars to the top community college in the nation.

Wetstein said the institute looks at the data from all the different community colleges about graduating rates, the communities that the colleges are in and much more.

The colleges go through several tiers to get the award.

“They sort through [the data] using this weighted scoring system that they have to get the top 150,” said Wetstein.

These colleges are then allowed to send in applications to the institute to try and make it to the final round of colleges.

“Then they go do campus visits of the top ten,” said Wetstein

While Delta has never made it to the final round, it has been one of community colleges that have been considered for the top 150 all five times that the award has been presented.

“We’re one of the colleges that’s been at least eligible to apply each of the times,” said Wetstein.