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Hudson Valley Community College Named Among Top Ten Percent of Nation's Community Colleges by Aspen Institute

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thurs., April 28, 2011

Hudson Valley Community College recently learned it was one of 120 high-achieving two-year institutions eligible for the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

The eligibility puts Hudson Valley among the top ten percent of the nation's community colleges, according to The Aspen Institute, which is offering the $1 million prize.

The Aspen Institute is a non-profit education and cultural think tank founded by Chicago businessman Walter Paepcke in the 1950s. One of its more recent efforts is The Aspen College Excellence Program, which identifies and aims to replicate campus-wide practices that significantly improve college student outcomes.

The first round selection of 120 schools was developed based upon achievement in three broad categories: student success in persistence and completion; consistent improvement in outcomes over time; and equity in outcomes for students of all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Publicly available data from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the U.S. Census Bureau was analyzed by an expert panel to make the choices and determine the top schools.

Other New York colleges named in the list are: CUNY Kingsborough Community College, Erie Community College, SUNY College of Technology at Canton, Corning Community College, Niagara County Community College and Onondaga Community College.

Named as one of the top 120, Hudson Valley is now eligible to reach the next level of the prize competition by providing further data about its performance and student outcomes. Eight to ten finalists will be named in September and a final prize of $700,000 is expected to be awarded to the winner later this year, as well as smaller prizes to several runners up.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joseph Biden and a community college professor in Virginia attended the announcement on Monday in Washington.

"To be considered amongst the top 10 percent of the nation's community colleges is an honor," said Hudson Valley Community College President Drew Matonak. "It recognizes the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff as well as our strong ongoing commitment to student success."

Hudson Valley has been a leader in student persistence and success programs for decades, and has been used as a model by other community colleges seeking to develop their own retention efforts.

For further information about the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, go to:

For a complete list of the 120 colleges named as finalists, go to:

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 13,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.