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Release date: 04-27-2012


KVCC recognized for a second year by Aspen Institute as one of the top community colleges in the nation

Fairfield, ME – For a second consecutive year, The Aspen Institute has recognized Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) as one of the best community colleges in America based on student success rates.

KVCC was one of 120 community colleges ranked in the top ten percent of the nation’s two-year colleges by the Institute. The ranking makes KVCC eligible to compete for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, a $1 million prize.

Colleges selected will now compete for the prestigious honor following a year-long research process into how well their students learn, complete degrees, and get jobs with competitive wages after graduating.

“Kennebec Valley Community College is honored to receive this national recognition for a second time,” KVCC President Barbara Woodlee, said. “This ranking reaffirms that our efforts to achieve high student retention and graduation rates are working and that even as KVCC grows, our focus on student success remains strong.”

Colleges were evaluated through a comprehensive review of publicly available data that measured their performance in the following areas:

▪ Graduation rates.

▪ Degrees awarded.

▪ Student retention rates.

▪ Equity in student outcomes.

The purpose of the Aspen Prize is to recognize community colleges with outstanding academic and workforce outcomes in both absolute performance and improvements over time. By focusing on student success and lifting up models that work, the Aspen prize honors excellence, stimulates innovation, and creates benchmarks for measuring progress.

The 120 community colleges selected in this first round of eligibility for the Aspen Prize are now invited to submit an application containing detailed information regarding degree and certificate completion rates, labor market outcomes, and student learning outcomes. Those schools that best demonstrate that they use data to drive decisions, that they deliver exceptional student results, and that they are continually improving over time will be named the finalists.

The 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence will be only the second in the history of the award. Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, took the inaugural prize. At the time, it was the first major award competition that recognized accomplishments of the nation’s individual community colleges.

The winner of the second award will be announced in March of 2013.

For more information on the Aspen Prize and the process used to select competitors for it, go to

The Aspen Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners. Its mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.


Kennebec Valley Community College is a commuter college located on a 69-acre campus in Fairfield, and is one of seven community colleges in Maine which operate under the authority of the Maine Community College System Board of Trustees. KVCC is a public, non-profit, post-secondary institution supported in part by State legislative appropriations and federal funds.


The College recently acquired an additional 690 acres of land and more than a dozen buildings that were formerly part of the Good Will-Hinckley School. KVCC is now in the process of planning a major expansion on that property, which is located 7 miles north of the current campus.


The College offers more than 30 programs of study ranging from two-year associate degrees to certificate and diploma programs, as well as a comprehensive schedule of continuing education courses and business and industry outreach programs.


Credit transfer agreements with many four-year colleges and universities and a strong liberal arts program have made KVCC an affordable stepping stone to advanced degrees and a great place for those unsure about college to test the waters of higher education.


Enrollment at the College has grown steadily in recent years and exceeded 2,500 students for the fall 2011 semester.


For more information on KVCC go to




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