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Last updateWed, 17 Dec 2014 11pm

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Santa Fe College named one of the top 10 colleges in the nation

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Santa Fe College President Jackson N. Sasser addressed a packed audience on Wednesday as the college was named one of 10 finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

GAINESVILLE – Santa Fe College has been named one of 10 finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges.  Santa Fe College was selected from more than 1,200 community colleges nationwide.

The Aspen Institute, a national educational organization dedicated to fostering leadership, looked at student academic achievement in four areas in choosing their finalists.  Student learning outcomes, degree and college completion, labor market success in students securing jobs after college, and minority and low-income student success were criteria for judgment detailed by The Aspen Institute in their news release.

As one of the top 10 colleges in the nation, Santa Fe College now becomes a finalist for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  The winner and up to four finalists with distinction will be awarded a $1 million prize fund in March in Washington, D.C.

Florida is one of only two states in the U.S. with multiple finalists.  Ft. Lauderdale’s Broward College has also been named as a finalist.

The award announcement was made by Santa Fe College Student Body President David Durkee Wednesday morning, Sept. 5 to a packed audience of college and community dignitaries, alumni and media.

Josh Wyner, Executive Director of Aspen’s College Excellence Program said, “Santa Fe College’s high graduation and workforce placement rates speak for themselves.  The college understands that students must both complete degrees, and be able to apply their learning in the labor markets, getting good-paying jobs after college.”

“This is a singular recognition of the very broad shoulders upon which the college has built its success,” said Santa Fe College President Jackson N. Sasser.  “We acknowledge our former employees together with each current employee, and thank them profusely for their work.  This commendation is all about their rigor and high expectations,” he said.

Established in 1965 by the Florida State Legislature as a community college, today Santa Fe College is a four-year institution with more than 18,000 students enrolled in credit classes and an additional 12,000 students taking non-credit classes. In addition to the three Gainesville based campuses, the Northwest Campus, Gainesville’s downtown Blount Center, and the Kirkpatrick Institute for Public Safety in East Gainesville, classes are also offered in Starke, Keystone Heights, Archer and Alachua.

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