Anoka-Ramsey Community College was recently named one of the top ten finalists for the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.
Students, administrators and faculty members gathered to watch a live stream of the program announcing the million dollar winner of the Aspen Prize.
"Our next finalist will be Anoka-Ramsey Community College from Minnesota."
Of the over 1,100 community colleges in the country, Anoka-Ramsey Community College placed ninth out of the ten finalists, as Lake Area Technical Institute out of Watertown, South Dakota claimed the top spot.
“Not only is it a great honor to be included in the top ten, it’s propelling us to say, what could we really do to make this school be number one in the country and support students and learning in this community, so it’s phenomenal," says Don Lewis, VP, Finance and Administration, Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
The selection committee focused on four areas in determining the winner: student learning, student employment after graduation, program completion and equitable education.
Anoka-Ramsey officials say this accolade will help propel them to continue to make greater strides in the future.
"This is not an end, it's a beginning, so we're going to use the award to say how much better can we get, because we know we're good, let's get to be great,” says Lewis.
The president of Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Dr. Kent Hanson, was in Washington DC to accept the award. This is the first time the college has been nominated for the award since its inception in 2011, and the first school in Minnesota to be among the top ten.