Northampton Community College (NCC) was recognized as "one of the best" community colleges in the country. The Aspen Institute for College Excellence awarded NCC with the designation, selecting them from a pool of 1000 candidates, and placing them among the top 150 community colleges in the nation.
The award winners are picked based on the outcomes of their student's learning, including the percentage that receive their degrees or certificates of completion, employment and earning levels, as well as the success of minority and low income students.
The designation from Aspen allows a school to compete for $1 million in prize money. NCC officials will collect student data and send it the Institute for review. Ten schools will be chosen from the 150 that received the "best of" designation and each site will be visited personally.
From those ten schools; two will be selected for the first-place prizes and awarded $400,000, each. Two more will be selected as "finalists with distinction" and receive a $100,000, each.