Ventura County’s Community Colleges named among 150 community colleges eligible for 2023 Aspen Prize

Ventura County’s community colleges are among 150 institutions nationwide eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges are now eligible for the 2023 prize, known as the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. It recognizes colleges with robust student outcomes in equity, teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer rates and bachelor’s degree attainment and workforce success. 

Only 15% of the approximately 1,000 community colleges the Aspen Institute evaluates across the U.S. are selected to contend for the esteemed honor. This is the first time that all three Ventura County Community College District colleges have been eligible for the Aspen Prize at the same time. Ventura College was previously eligible in 2017, 2019 and 2021; and Moorpark College in 2019.  

The 150 eligible colleges have been invited to submit data and narratives as next steps in an intensive data and practice review process. The top 10 finalists for the 2023 Aspen Prize will be announced in spring/summer 2022.

A jury of notable leaders will select a winner, finalists with distinction and institutions that have significantly improved their practices known as “Rising Stars” in late spring 2023. 

Following the announcement of being named eligible for the prize, the VCCCD board and college presidents expressed their appreciation of the honor: 

“The fact that each of our colleges is eligible for this prize serves as a testament to the District’s commitment to equity and high-quality education that yields professional and personal success for our diverse students,” said VCCCD Board Chair Joshua Chancer.  

“Ventura College is honored to be recognized multiple times. It reflects Ventura College’s educational opportunities and academic success as an accredited two-year institution of higher education,” said Dr. Kim Hoffmans, president of Ventura College. “This distinction illustrates the dedication of our faculty, classified professionals and administrators and their commitment to the success of all Ventura College students.” 

For the list of the top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process, visit The Aspen Prize is made possible by generous support from Ascendium and the Joyce Foundation. 

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices and leadership that significantly improve student learning, completion, and employment after collegeespecially for the growing population of students of color and low-income students on American campuses. For more information, visit

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