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Delta College to Compete for the $1 Million Aspen Prize | Schools

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Delta College to Compete for the $1 Million Aspen Prize
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Delta College to Compete for the $1 Million Aspen Prize


Stockton, CA - Highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America’s community colleges, the philanthropic Aspen Institute has ranked San Joaquin Delta College as one of the nation’s 120 best community colleges, challenging it to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Delta is one of only three California Community Colleges eligible to participate in Round 2 of the competition. The other two are Coastline Community College and Santa Barbara Community College.

“Our community knows the value of San Joaquin Delta College and its importance to our students,” says Acting Superintendent/President, Dr. Kathleen Hart. “It’s wonderful to get this kind of national recognition! We’ll do our best to prove that we are the top community college in the country.”

Backed by the leading educational foundations in the U.S., the Aspen Prize recognizes community colleges with outstanding academic and workforce outcomes in both performance and improvements. By focusing on student success and “lifting up” models that work, the Aspen Prize will honor excellence, stimulate innovation and create benchmarks for measuring progress. The Aspen Institute believes that the success of community college job training programs will help determine whether American will continue to lead the global economy.

Delta College is eligible to submit a detailed application based on criteria that include: High standards for learning; college completion without delay, and ability to serve as a training ground for jobs that pay competitive wages. Delta must demonstrate that it delivers exceptional student results and uses data to drive decisions that continually improve its performance over time.


The college has valuable experience competing for the Aspen Prize. Delta was also selected to compete for the inaugural 2011 award, eventually won by Valencia College of Orlando, Florida. “We are pleased to be in the running again,” says Dr. Matt Wetstein, Interim Vice President of Instruction. “Our work on last year’s Aspen Prize application and knowledge of the best practices exhibited by the top community colleges gives us a body of knowledge to try some innovative programs. Our success indicators suggest we are doing a lot of things right for our students.”

Josh Wyner, director of the Aspen Institute Community College Excellence Program, stresses the vital role community colleges play in training America’s workforce. “Some seven million students enroll in nearly 1,200 public and private community colleges each year. At a time when a college degree is essential to enter the middle class, community colleges like San Joaquin Delta College offer the most promising path to education and employment for millions of Americans. The Aspen Prize spotlights excellence and will help ‘raise the bar’ for all community colleges to better prepare the next generation for the job market.”

A distinguished Prize Jury, co-chaired by John Engler, former Michigan Governor and past president of the National Association of Manufacturers, and Richard Riley, former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education during the Clinton Administration, will select the $1 million grand prize winner and “four runners-up with distinction” in March 2013.

For More Information, please contact: Dr. Matthew Wetstein, Interim Vice President of Instruction, (209) 954-5047, mwetsteini@deltacollege.edu.

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