ACC recognized as one of the nation’s top community colleges

The Austin Community College District (ACC) is named one of the top community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program for its commitment to strong and improving student outcomes. Colleges were reviewed for learning, completion, and employment rates and earnings and equity. 

“ACC is committed to the critical work being done to close equity gaps and improve success rates for all students. This is a collaborative effort that takes the dedication of our faculty, staff, and community partners,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “We are honored to be recognized by this prestigious program. By continuing our intentional work, ACC will ensure that college is for everyone.”

The recognition makes ACC eligible for a $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Only 15 percent of community colleges nationwide are selected to compete for the prize. 

“Community colleges play a vital role in developing talent and enabling social mobility across the country, and it’s critical for them to get better at what they do,” says Josh Wyner, Aspen Institute College Excellence Program executive director. “We’re pleased to see evidence that ACC is delivering on this promise. We’re also pleased to play a role in honoring outstanding community colleges and sharing what works to ensure great outcomes for students—through graduation and beyond.” 

The top ten finalists will be named in May 2020. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits and collect additional data, including employment and earnings figures. A jury will make award decisions in spring 2021. 

For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions, and to read more on the selection process, visit