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January 25, 2012

Contact: Greg Dart
Snow College
435-283-7154 (office)
435-340-0514 (cell)

EPHRAIM – The Aspen Institute has named Snow College among the top 10 percent of two-year colleges in the nation when it comes to academic and workforce outcomes.

In October 2010, President Obama held a summit on the importance of community colleges to our nation’s economic growth. Since that time increased attention and scrutiny have been paid to the two-year colleges and their roles. Perhaps the most important role of two-year colleges is academic and workforce preparation, which is the driving factor of the Aspen Institute research.

The group used objective data to evaluate all 1,200 two-year colleges in the country. They evaluated the schools based on the ability to prepare students academically for transfer as well as develop workforce outcomes. The criteria are evaluated both as absolute performance and improvement over time.

“To be selected as the top two-year college in Utah and one of the top 10 percent in the nation is a great honor,” said President Scott Wyatt. “This is not a honor we sought. We did not even know we were being considered until we found out we made the list.”

Snow is the only college in Utah on the list. Many western states did not have a college on the list.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for the hard work and dedication of our students and faculty,” said Wyatt. “We strive to be the best two year college in the nation. We are honored to be named among the best.”

According to the Institute’s Web site, 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.”

They go on to say that 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.”