San Jacinto College, located at 8060 Spencer Hwy., Pasadena, is among those honored by the nation’s top recognition for outstanding community colleges.

On April 20, the Aspen Institute announced the winners and finalists in the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. According to the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, this award is the country’s premier award for two-year colleges.

While San Jacinto College was not one of the two winners, it was one of the top 10 finalists. The two winning colleges, Amarillo College in Texas and Imperial Valley College in California, each won $1 million prizes.

According to an Aspen news release, San Jacinto College was recognized for its “consistently exceptional work supporting students in earning valuable degrees.” It also stands out for strong workforce development programs and employer partnerships in high-demand fields, including health care, maritime and petrochemical.

“San Jacinto College is laser-focused on helping students complete a degree by creating clear program pathways and advising students so they receive necessary academic and nonacademic supports,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “College leaders understand, however, that completion is not enough. So they have worked with faculty and staff to develop exceptional workforce programs and improve transfer and bachelor’s attainment rates. The results speak for themselves: San Jacinto keeps improving student success.”

The college was previously a finalist in the 2021 running as well.

Created in 2010, the Aspen Prize has recognized high-achieving community colleges for students in college and after graduation. The 2023 winners and finalists were selected by an independent panel of nine jury members who are leaders in politics, journalism and education.