Among the guests were Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and a longtime educator, Arne Duncan, current U.S. Secretary of Education, and Richard Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education.
After making the initial cut of the top 120 community colleges from almost 1,200 accredited, public community colleges nationwide in April, SBCC was named as one of the 10 finalists in September and was the only community college in California to make the prestigious list.
“This recognition is validation of SBCC’s outstanding reputation as a premiere community college, not only in the state but in the nation,” said Dr. Friedlander. “We clearly demonstrated to the Aspen Institute selection committee that our college is both data- and outcomes- driven, and that academic excellence and student success are our top priorities.”
He added, “It was a privilege to attend this luncheon in Washington with my peers and to be recognized by President Obama and his administration and leaders in higher education and business for our collective extraordinary accomplishments as community colleges.”
The Aspen Institute luncheon concluded a year-long research process for the top community colleges in the country that deliver high levels of success for their students. Criteria included :(1) gaining knowledge and skills; (2) completing degree or certificate programs; (3) obtaining jobs with competitive wages after graduation; and (4) striving to ensure equitable outcomes and success rates for all student populations.
The next step of the Aspen project calls for compiling and disseminating best practices from the 10 finalists to the 1,200 accredited, public community colleges nationwide.
The Aspen Institute posted an article and pictures highlighting SBCC’s major areas of accomplishment on its Web site: aspeninstitute.org