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Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is delighted to share that it has been designated as one of the top 150 eligible institutions to vie for the esteemed 2025 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. This recognition underscores MGCCC’s exceptional student achievements, such as remarkable, steadily improving, and equitable retention and graduation rates, positioning it among the select group of community colleges eligible to contend for the Aspen Prize.

The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is the nation’s premier recognition for community colleges, and it carries a significant prize of $1 million, awarded biennially. The Aspen Prize highlights colleges that have achieved exceptional results in six critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, equitable access to the college, and equitable outcomes for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

“We are deeply honored to receive an invitation to apply for the 2025 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence,” said Dr. Mary S. Graham, MGCCC president. “This recognition underscores the dedication and hard work of our faculty, staff, and students in pursuing educational excellence. It reaffirms our commitment to providing high-quality education and support services to our diverse student body.”

MGCCC’s invitation to apply for the Aspen Prize is a testament to the institution’s consistent commitment to educational excellence and student success. This marks the fifth time that MGCCC has received an invitation in the past 13 years, demonstrating the college’s enduring dedication to the mission of advancing education and supporting its community. Notably, MGCCC was named among the Top 25 finalists for the Aspen Prize in 2022 and achieved a Top 10 ranking in 2010.

The Aspen Institute will evaluate MGCCC’s application in the coming months, considering the college’s achievements and progress in the specified areas. Finalists for the 2025 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence will be announced in spring 2025, with the grand prize winner announced later that year.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College remains committed to its mission of empowering students through education and is proud to be recognized on a national stage for its unwavering dedication to excellence.

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