November 5, 2019 / Aspen Institute Names Vincennes University as a Top U.S. College
VINCENNES, Ind. - The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today named Vincennes University as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America's community colleges.
Based on strong and improving student outcomes — including learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings, and equity — 15 percent of community colleges nationwide have been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize.
Vincennes University also has been invited to apply for the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM award, which recognizes outstanding community college STEM programs. Colleges eligible to apply for both awards are diverse institutions that have helped students achieve strong outcomes in the classroom and in the workplace after graduation.
“I am thrilled that VU has been selected for consideration of an Aspen Award.” VU Provost Dr. Laura J. Treanor said. “It is a testament to the remarkable student-centered work of our faculty and staff who understand that student success is central to our mission. We are committed to the success of our students beyond the classroom and graduation and are consistently working to find new ways to ensure that our students are prepared to meet the challenges of the work force.”
VU is among the 150 community colleges nationwide named today as eligible to compete for the 2021 Aspen Prize, and the only school from Indiana. Eligible institutions were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes.
“Community colleges play a vital role in developing talent and enabling social mobility across the country, and it’s critical for them to get better at what they do,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We’re pleased to see evidence that these institutions are improving, that more are delivering on their promise. We’re also pleased to play a role in honoring outstanding community colleges and sharing what works to ensure great outcomes for students — through graduation and beyond.”
The top 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in spring 2021.
“The old saying is that it is an honor just to be nominated,” VU President Chuck Johnson said. “Well, in this case, it truly is an honor. VU’s eligibility is a reflection of the hard work of so many faculty and staff who make student success their top priority.”
For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process, visit
The Aspen Prize is generously funded by ECMC Foundation, Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Siemens Foundation.
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College
VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers, and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch. A leader in developing Early Colleges statewide, VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.
In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.
VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21 other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.
Vincennes University Newsroom
MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
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VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom