By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
BREVARD -- Eastern Florida State College continues to collect a wide range of accolades in recent months.
On Thursday, Jan. 23, Eastern Florida State College was named among the top 150 colleges in the nation, vying for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
The Aspen Prize is a highly prestigious award, given to the best community or state college in the nation for high levels of student success, innovative strategies and workforce achievement.
Eastern Florida is among 15 colleges in the Florida College System up for the Aspen Prize.
"The criterion to be considered for the prize is student success in persistence, completion and transfer, consistent improvement in student outcomes, over time, and in outcomes for students of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds," said John J. Glisch, associate vice president of communications at EFSC.
Eastern Florida was chosen from more than 1,000 colleges, nationwide, to advance to the second round of the competition. Mr. Glisch said that there are three rounds total in the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
This also marks the second straight year that the college is in the running for the $1 million award, which is to be announced in December.
The 10 finalist schools will be named this fall.
"We have among the top graduation rates in the 28-member Florida College System, which includes Eastern Florida, and the highest graduation rate among state and community colleges in Central Florida," Mr. Glisch said.
College president Dr. Jim Richey credits the school's student-centered approach as the key to its place in the nation's top educational tier.
"Everything we do at Eastern Florida is geared [toward] providing students with an excellent education that will lead to a good job and successful career upon graduation," Dr. Richey said in a press release. "The credit goes to our dedicated faculty and staff, whose efforts make Eastern Florida a special place for students to study, learn and grow."