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Celebrate Student Success: Aspen Prize Application

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Southwestern Oregon Community College as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.

Celebrate their success by reading their Student Stories!

Intrigued?  Read the full Aspen Prize application and our press release

Excerpt from the application ...  

“I’ve never thought College was something I can do, but I want more for my life.” “I want to go to college to escape the lifestyle I was born into.”

These are our students’ voices. Many want out of poverty – the first in their families to go to college. They want fulfilling jobs. Many want their children, their parents, their partners to see them succeed. Their stories are the meaning behind Southwestern Oregon Community College’s year-over-year gains in students completing, graduating and transferring.

Our district spans Coos, Curry and western Douglas counties. With a population of 95,000, this super-rural region has spiraled in financial recession since the 1980s. Foremost, our students battle poverty.

  • 91% receive financial aid (IPEDS 2017 first-time full-time);
  • 89% qualify for overall aid (IPEDS);
  • 20% of families live in poverty.

Still, our students succeed.

  • 65% (2016 FTFT cohort) graduate or transfer within three years, highest among Oregon colleges;
  • 64% of Latinx/Hispanic transfer students complete a bachelor’s within six years;
  • We have a 2.0 social mobility rate, highest among Oregon CCs/4th combined with 4-year colleges
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