WKCTC in Running for Aspen Prize Top Community College Honor for Third Time
Shy and reserved, Tracey Dismore didn’t think she was smart enough to go to college. “I had dreams, but did I think that they were going to be achieved? No,” said Tracey.
All that changed when she enrolled at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in 2011. “I found people who wanted me to succeed,” said Tracey, who was home schooled in Livingston County. “They kept telling me, you’re smart. You deserve to go to college. I never even thought I could go to college. It took the encouragement and support of the faculty and staff at West Kentucky to change my mind.”
A strong commitment to student success is one of the reasons West Kentucky Community and Technical College has been named one of ten finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s preeminent recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. An announcement was made by The Aspen Institute this morning in Washington, D.C.
WKCTC has earned a place on the ten top finalists’ list in each of the three years the Prize has been awarded and was named a finalist-with-distinction in 2011. The $1 million prize fund will be awarded in March 2015 in Washington, D.C. to the winner and up to four finalists-with-distinction.
“I’m not surprised that West Kentucky is a top 10 school. The faculty and staff here actually remember your name, and care about what’s going on with you, and that can really make a difference in your life,” said Tracey, who was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around campus. “They make you feel like you are worth something, and are not just another number.”
The Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, recognizes outstanding institutions in student learning, certificate and degree completion, high rates of employment and earnings for graduates, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.
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