PCC on Aspen Institute List of 150 Top Community Colleges

PCC has been a Top Ten Community College in Aspen’s rankings in 2017, 2019, and 2021.

PHOTO: Pasadena.edu | SouthPasadenan.com News | Pasadena City College campus


For the fourth time in a row, Pasadena City College has been named one of the country’s Top 150 Community Colleges by the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute.

Every two years, the Aspen Institute conducts a public competition — with a $1 million prize — that recognizes the top community colleges in the United States. This week’s announcement is the first step in the 2023 Aspen Prize cycle, and one that treads familiar ground for PCC. PCC has been a Top Ten Community College in Aspen’s rankings in 2017, 2019, and 2021.

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This year, the prize process focuses on equitable outcomes for students during and after college. The 150 colleges named by the institute this week “stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds,” the Aspen Institute said in a news announcement yesterday.

“We are thrilled to yet again be recognized as key place of innovation within America’s community colleges,” said Dr. Erika Endrijonas, PCC’s superintendent/president. “This honor is a testament to the incredible work our students, faculty, and staff do every day to pursue success.”

PCC will soon supply prize judges with information on its programs, services, and outcomes as the selection process continues. The focus on equitable outcomes is a particularly strong suit for the college, as later this month PCC will be recognized by the Campaign for College Opportunity as one of the state’s top institutions for Black and Latinx students seeking transfer to a four-year institution.

PCC has also made substantial investments in its career education programs, including a recently hired dean of career technical education and the reconstruction of a science building on the east side of its Colorado campus. The rebuilt Sarafian Building will house PCC’s programs in health sciences and natural sciences.

More information about the Aspen Prize and the selection process can be found on the Aspen Institute website.