Allan Hancock named one of the top community colleges in the country

Allan Hancock College.
Allan Hancock College. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria is one of the top community colleges in the United States, according to the Aspen College Excellence Program.

Hancock was listed among the country’s top 150 community colleges, in an analysis by the Aspen Institute, and is eligible to win the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The prize comes with $1 million.

The next nearest community college, Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, did not make the list.

According to a news release, this is the fourth year that Hancock has been recognized. It and the other 149 community colleges were selected from a pool of about 1,000 public two-year colleges, using a formula from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

The prize is awarded every two years. Institutions are recognized for “exceptional student outcomes” in four categories: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

Hancock will move forward to the next round of the competition by submitting an application for a spot on the top-10 Aspen Prize finalists list. Top-10 finalists are named in May 2018. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand-prize winner, finalists with distinction, and rising stars in 2019.

For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions, visit: www.highered.aspeninstitute.org/aspen-prize.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune