SOWELA eligible to compete for $1 million Aspen Prize - FOX29 Lake Charles

SOWELA eligible to compete for $1 million Aspen Prize

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(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC) (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

On Wednesday SOWELA Technical Community College was named one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize.

SOWELA was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges, according to Marianne P. White, SOWELA spokeswoman.

“This is definitely an honor and privilege to be one of only 150 community colleges chosen from over 1,000 nationwide," said Dr. Neil Aspinwall, SOWELA Chancellor. "Recognition by an organization like the Aspen Institute further legitimizes SOWELA’s great transformation from an old trade school to a comprehensive community college that is truly student focused. As SOWELA continues to grow, we never lose sight of why we exist, which is to provide the programs and services that ensure the success of our most important asset - our students. I am very proud of our dedicated faculty and staff who strive each day to make SOWELA the best community college in Louisiana and the nation and who have made this opportunity possible."

Awarded every two years since 2011, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students, said White.

SOWELA will move forward to the next round of competition for the prize by submitting an application for a spot on the top 10 Aspen Prize finalists list.

Top 10 finalists will be named in May 2018.

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, finalist/finalists with distinction, and rising star/stars in spring 2019, said White.

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