Catawba Valley Community College named Top 150 finalist by Apsen Institute

CVCC is now eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize — the nation’s signature recognition America’s community colleges.


Aspen 150 Logo

Our college strives for excellence in achieving our mission, and being selected as a finalist for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence validates the extraordinary work of our faculty and staff,” said CVCC President Dr. Garrett Hinshaw. “Our students are our focus, and they are the reason that we do what we do.”

Colleges included as finalists range in enrollment from 200 to 57,000 and include all 50 states. CVCC was only one of six colleges from North Carolina to make the list.

“The Aspen Prize is the gold medal of teaching and learning,” said Brice Melton, Vice President for Teaching and Learning and Chief Academic Officer at CVCC. “Our faculty and staff are focused on and committed to student learning with every interaction and opportunity we have to engage students in the skills they need for future success.”

A 15-judge panel will decide the winners based on the following criteria: teaching and learning; certificate and degree completion; transfer and bachelor’s attainment; workforce success; and equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

CVCC will now compete with the other 149 finalists for a chance to receive the Apsen Prize in the fall of 2023. The top 10 finalists for the award will be named this spring.

The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is awarded every two years, and it aims to celebrate excellence, advance a focus on equitable student success and stimulate replication of effective culture and practice. 

Previous winners of the Aspen Award include Valencia College (Fla.) in 2011; Walla Walla Community College (Wash.) and Santa Barbara City College (Calif.) in 2013; Santa Fe College (Fla.) in 2015; Lake Area Technical College (S.D.) in 2017; Miami-Dade College (Fla.) and Indian River State College (Fla.) in 2019; and San Antonio College (Texas) in 2021.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices and leadership that significantly improve student learning, completion, and employment after college — especially for the growing population of students of color and students from low-income backgrounds on American campuses.

Visit the Aspen Prize website for a complete list of finalist.

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