KILGORE, Texas (KETK) – Kilgore College has been nominated to participate in a nationwide competition to win a $1 million prize.

Kilgore College has been named one of the 150 institutions eligible to compete for a $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s recognition of high achievement and performance among two-year colleges. 

According to a release, those eligible stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges in the U.S. as having high levels of student success including Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds. 

“With the forward-thinking vision of our board of trustees and the dedicated efforts of our esteemed faculty, staff and administrators, we are truly delighted to be acknowledged and honored for our significant achievements in advancing our instructional mission,” said Kilgore College President Dr. Brenda Kays. “We take great pride in being one of the distinguished 150 institutions honored by the Aspen Institute.”

The eligible colleges have been invited to submit student success data and strategies to achieve better and more equitable student outcomes as the next step in the review process.

Reportedly, the next steps include: 

  • April 2024: The prize selection panel will announce the 25 semi finalists selected based on the assessments of the data and strategy documents. 
  • June 2024: Announcement of 10 finalists
  • Fall 2024: There will be site visits to the finalists campuses. The Aspen Institute will then collect information including earnings date and insights about promising practices. 
  • January 2025: Prize award decisions made by independent prize jury at full-day meeting
  • Spring 2025:  Announcement of the Aspen Prize winner and celebration of the 10 finalists in Washington D.C.

“These 150 colleges have achieved high and improving levels of student success for all students, including those who are often failed by our institutions,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We’re excited to learn over the coming months how they achieved that success so we can share the most impressive practices with others in the field.”