release header

January 26, 2016

Alisha Rosas
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
(909) 652-6115               

For Immediate Release

Aspen Prize 2017


(Rancho Cucamonga) – Highlighting the critical importance of improving success in America’s community colleges, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today named Chaffey College as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.The college was selected from a national pool of more than 1,000 public two-year colleges using publicly available data on student outcomes in three areas:

  • Performance (retention, graduation rates including transfers, and degrees and certificates per 100 full-time equivalent students)
  • Improvement (awarded for steady improvement in each performance metric over time)
  • Equity (evidence of strong completion outcomes for minority and low-income students)

The 2017 Aspen Prize is awarded every two years and offers the selected community college $1 million in prize funds as well as Siemens Technical Scholars Program student scholarships.  It is considered the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges and recognizes institutions for exceptional learning outcomes in four areas: student learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and access and success for minority and low-income students.+

“Chaffey College believes in providing educational opportunities for all students and their success is our priority,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Henry Shannon. “Being named one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation is a tremendous honor – one that reflects the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff and students. It shows us once again how Chaffey College is a world-class institution.”

Nearly half of America’s college students attend community college, with more than 7 million students (traditional and adult learners) working towards certificates and degrees and colleges across the country.

“Community colleges have tremendous power to change lives, and their success will increasingly define our nation’s economic strength and the potential for social mobility in our country,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “This competition is designed to spotlight the excellent work being done in the most effective community colleges, those that best help students obtain meaningful, high-quality education and training for competitive-wage jobs after college. We hope it will raise the bar and provide a roadmap to better student outcomes for community colleges nationwide.”

This year, California saw the largest increase among states in the number of colleges eligible for the Prize—tripling from seven to 21 since the last Prize cycle in 2015. Most states saw only small changes in the number of eligible institutions.

A full list of the selected colleges and details on the selection process are available at

Scholarship Opportunities
For the first time, the 150 Prize-eligible institutions are also invited to nominate exceptional students enrolled in their best middle-skill STEM programs for scholarships. Up to 50 Siemens Technical Scholars will be selected from programs that provide outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in manufacturing, energy, health care, and information technology. A partnership between the Siemens Foundation and the Aspen Institute, the Siemens Technical Scholars Program intends to help our nation’s community colleges and their business partners bridge the gap between projected shortages of skilled workers and the millions of high-demand jobs in these STEM industries. Scholarship winners and the programs that deliver rigorous training enabling their success will be announced in fall 2016. For more information and to view video profiles of 2015 Siemens Technical Scholars, go to:

Chaffey will soon be applying for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. A total of 10 finalists will be named in fall 2016. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and a few finalists with distinction in early 2017

Established in 1883, Chaffey College was one of the first colleges to be established in California and offers associate degrees, as well as vocational and transfer programs in a wide variety of subjects.  Courses are offered at campuses in Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, and Fontana, as well as online through the Distance Education program.  For general information about the college, please visit

- 30 -

| Back to News Release Main Page |
General Information | Student Resources | Instructional Programs | Campus Life | Community | Site Index | Home |