November 2, 2023
Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) has been named by the Aspen Institute as one of the 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among community colleges.
The 150 eligible colleges were selected from a pool of about 1,000 colleges nationwide. The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is awarded every two years. In 2021, BMCC was named as one of the Aspen Award’s Top Ten finalists. The qualities that afforded BMCC that honor, continue today.
“Our college is dedicated to continually assess what works and scale up from there to build student success,” says BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe.
“We look at which strategies build enrollment and which pedagogies boost student outcomes. We gauge the impact of campus research projects to build equity in health care, sustainability, and other areas that affect our students’ futures. We examine our industry and academic partnerships, and evaluate how they open doors for our ambitious students and graduates. We continually expand our degree programs, adding information technology, data science, and other deeply relevant areas of study to our offerings.”
“Most of all,” says President Munroe, “we take careful measure of the academic gaps reflected in student data disaggregated by gender and race, and apply what works to close those gaps. This ongoing work happens in a culture of care and respect for the whole student—where they come from, what they are struggling with today, and where they want to go from here. Being included among the 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2025 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is a great honor, and reflects our commitment to this work.”
In a letter from Aspen Institute Vice President Joshua Wyner to BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe, VP Wyner says inclusion in the 150 eligible colleges list across 30 states is based on student outcomes, “including strong, improving and equitable retention and graduation rates … This in and of itself is an important marker of institutional performance.”
The Aspen Prize honors colleges with outstanding achievement in six critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, equitable access to the college, and equitable outcomes for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.
Now that Round 1 has been completed—150 eligible colleges selected from nearly 1,000 contestants—the next steps in the 2025 Aspen Prize selection process include Round 2, in which 25 semifinalists and 10 finalists are selected, and Round 3, in which a final winner of the $1 million 2025 Aspen Prize is announced.
In addition to BMCC, CUNY colleges in the Top 150 list include Hostos Community College, Kingsborough Community College, LaGuardia College and Queensborough Community College.
For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions and details of the selection criteria and process, read more here.
BMCC has been named by the Aspen Institute as one of the 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
This is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among community colleges
In the next round, 25 semifinalists and 10 finalists will be selected; the final winner will be announced in Spring 2025