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Whatcom Community College named one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation for fourth consecutive time

Aspen Prize recognizes the College’s high rate of student success

Post Date:10/11/2017 8:58 am

Bellingham, Wash. – Whatcom Community College (WCC) was named one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the prestigious Aspen Institute. WCC was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges based on outstanding achievements in learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students. 

“Whatcom continues to make significant advancements in programs and services that support student achievements,” said WCC Pres. Kathi Hiyane-Brown. “We are pleased the Aspen Institute for the fourth time has recognized our commitment to provide an accessible college education that ensures our students succeed.” 

The top 150 recognition enables WCC to compete for the 2019 $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance. The top ten finalists for the prize will be named in May 2018. 

“Especially in the current social and economic climate, it is exceptionally important that our nation's community colleges develop the diverse talent needed to fuel democratic engagement, social mobility, and economic opportunity and growth,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “Through this competition we’re working to inspire other institutions across our country to ensure more students succeed in college and their lives beyond those campuses.”

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

About Whatcom

Whatcom Community College is a regionally and nationally accredited college with an accomplished faculty and staff who serve 11,000 students annually. On its campus in Bellingham, Wash., and through online courses, Whatcom offers transfer and professional-technical degrees as well as basic education, job skills training, and community education classes. The College is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. For more information, visit


Marisa Ellis, Whatcom Community College PIO, 360.383.3310,

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