STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has been selected as one of the ten finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
MGCCC now enters the last stage of the competition for the $1 million prize fund that will be awarded in December in Washington, D.C. to the first-ever national winner and up to three runners-up.
This is the first national recognition of extraordinary accomplishments at individual community colleges, and follows on the April project launch and previous White House Community College Summit that attracted participation and endorsement from President Obama, as well as luminaries in American education, labor, business and civil society.
"Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is at the forefront of preparing a diverse student body for jobs," said Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program. "For this reason, the college is a model for the Gulf Coast region and the country."
MGCCC stands out for its dedication to students and teaching, with 82% of the faculty members serving as full-time instructors, an unusually high proportion. The college has demonstrated that maintaining access to college for all students can be consistent with success, educating a large number of minority students while posting a much smaller achievement gap than most community colleges.
WLOX.com will have reaction to this news from MGCCC's president later today.