TCC Named One of the Top 10 Colleges in the Nation!

Tallahassee Community College (TCC) was recently named one of 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.

Awarded every two years since 2011, the Prize recognizes institutions that achieve high and improving student outcomes, selected from more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide. Focused solely on student access and success, the Aspen Prize recognizes community colleges with exceptional achievements in four areas:

· Student learning;

· Certificate and degree completion while in community college and after transferring to a four-year institution;

· Employment and earnings rates after graduation; and

· Access for and success of minority and low-income students.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Aspen Institute for our collective commitment to the success of our students,” said TCC President Jim Murdaugh. “This significant acknowledgement is a result of the College’s passion to continually advance its student-centered focus. I am exceptionally proud of our team and the persistence they have shown to never settle for less than our students can dream.”

“Tallahassee Community College has consistently achieved impressive outcomes for its students,” said Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the College Excellence Program. “Beyond continuously improving its strong campus-based offerings, the College engages with community partners to ensure a seamless transition for students at every stage, from working with local high schools to create and promote effective dual enrollment opportunities to providing meaningful internship experiences for career and technical education students.”

“The Aspen Prize finalists define what it means to be an excellent community college,” said Wyner. “By organizing everything they do around student success, these colleges stand at the forefront of national

efforts to develop the talents of diverse students that we need to strengthen our nation’s economic future.”

TCC Executive Vice President and Provost Madeline Pumariega said, “TCC has been laser-focused on academic excellence and student success! It is a tremendous honor for our College to receive this recognition, which serves as a testament to the wonderful work of our faculty, staff and leadership at TCC.”

The College was named in November 2019 as one of the nation’s Top 150 Community Colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize. TCC stands out as one of the nation’s top community colleges for many reasons, including:

 · Workforce: TCC is achieving regional and statewide recognition as a premier college of choice for providing workforce training by delivering high quality programs and instruction that enables students to grow, succeed, and stay globally competitive.

 · Access: The College continues to strengthen and expand access by increasing awareness of educational opportunities that are reflective of student, business, and community needs.

 · Student Success: The College promotes a student-centered environment that focuses on student achievement, engagement and educational excellence.

 · Partnerships: TCC is nurturing collaborative relationships with K-12, universities, businesses, and community partners to develop a cohesive educational strategy that ensures seamless alignment and builds a skilled workforce that leads to economic mobility and increased educational attainment.

 · Transfer Rate: A significantly higher percentage of students transfer from TCC to a four-year institution than the state average.

 · Seamless Transition: There is a seamless transition to Florida State University and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. TCC students have the opportunity to participate in the TCC2FSU or TCC2FAMU program the moment they enroll as a degree-seeking student.

 · Resources and Efficiency: The College is strategically leverage, grow and utilize resources to maximize student success and institutional sustainability and effectiveness.

 The 10 Aspen Prize Finalists have achieved strong and improving student success rates in very different contexts – they are from rural and urban areas, serve demographically different student bodies, and offer a varied mix of technical workforce and academic transfer programs. These 10 institutions offer proof that every community college can achieve higher levels of success for students while in college and after they graduate.

 2021 Aspen Prize Finalists:

Amarillo College, Amarillo, TX

Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, NY

Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Odessa College, Odessa, TX

Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA

Pierce College, Pierce County, WA

San Antonio College, San Antonio, TX

San Jacinto College, Pasadena, TX

Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee, FL

West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Paducah, KY

During the remainder of 2020, the Aspen Institute will complete a rigorous review process that includes examination of data on learning, graduation, workforce, and equitable outcomes for all students as well as multi-day site visits to each of the 10 finalist institutions.

In early 2021, a distinguished jury will convene to select the prize winner, finalists with distinction, and a rising star and allocate a $1 million award among them. The winner will be announced at a May 2021 event in Washington, D.C.

The 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is generously funded by the Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Siemens Foundation.


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The Aspen Prize

The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The Prize highlights institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high-levels of access and success for students of color and low-income students.

By focusing on student success and lifting up models that work, the Aspen Prize aims to:
  • Identify and celebrate excellence: In a sector of higher education that has historically been under-recognized, the Prize works to elevate outstanding institutions as models of excellence.
  • Coalesce around a clear definition of student success: The comprehensive four-part Aspen Prize definition of student success aims to provide those within community colleges, as well as the public, examples of community colleges that are among the best at ensuring students – including the most underserved – learn, graduate, and secure good jobs.
  • Stimulate replication of exceptional practice: By identifying outstanding community colleges across the nation, documenting their practices, and creating syntheses and tools for replication, Aspen uses the Prize to spread concrete college-wide strategies for improving student success. 

Past Winners and Finalists:

Miami Dade College- 2019 Winner

Indian River State College- 2019 Winner

Lake Area Technical Institute- 2017 Winner

Santa Fe College- 2015 Winner

Santa Barbara City College- 2013 Co-Winner

Walla Walla Community College- 2013 Co-Winner

Valencia College- 2011 Winner

To learn more about The Aspen Institute:

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TCC's Strategic Plan

Our Mission:

The mission of the college is to provide a learning environment that prepares students for success in a global economy by offering higher education pathways, workforce opportunities, and civic engagement.

To learn more about tcc's strategic priorities, click here.

For an overview of TCC's student support strategies:

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Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

While the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) conducts an intensive review of its member institutions every 10 years, the U.S. Department of Education requires accrediting agencies to monitor institutions more often to ensure that those eligible for federal funds continue to meet accreditation standards. To that end, the Commission has developed a Fifth-Year Interim Report. 

The Fifth-Year Interim Report is a compliance report that addresses selected standards and includes the Quality Enhancement Plan Impact Report. TCC’s report is due September 15, 2020. 

Tallahassee Community College (TCC) was originally accredited by (SACSCOC) in 1966 and was last reaffirmed in 2015. TCC received the best possible review, with the committee finding the College in full compliance and offering no recommendations. 

As part of the reaffirmation process, TCC developed a Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP — a comprehensive plan for institutional improvement. TCC’s QEP, “Digital Focus,” is an initiative to improve students’ ability to do, think and relate in a digital environment within all academic disciplines.

Click here to view the latest certification report