Odessa Chamber Holds Reception in Honor of OC on March 30
03/16/2017 01:13 PM
The Odessa Chamber of Commerce will host a reception on Thursday, March 30 in honor of Odessa College being recognized with the “2017 Rising Star” from the Aspen Institute. The reception will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, located at 700 N. Grant, suite 200. The event is free and open to the public. Those interested in sponsoring or co-hosting the event can contact Lynn Van Amburgh at 432-333-7862.

Earlier in September, Odessa College was named as one of 10 national finalists for the award, which is recognized among American institutions of higher education as the most prestigious and elevated affirmation of high achievement and exemplary performance that a college can receive.

On Tuesday, March 14, Odessa College was awarded $100,000 as the “Rising Star” in Washington, D.C., for its rapid student improvement. In the past five years alone, Odessa College has more than doubled its graduation rates.

"In all the years the Aspen Institute has been looking at community college outcomes we have rarely if ever seen a college that has seen such rapid and significant improvement in graduation rates as Odessa," said Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.

The Aspen Award has only been awarded to four community colleges since 2011, and recognizes outstanding institutions selected from an original pool of more than 1,000 public community colleges nationwide.

“The Odessa Chamber of Commerce is incredibly proud of Odessa College for being named a ‘Rising Star’ today by the Aspen Institute,” said Reneé Earls, President/CEO of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. “Over the years, OC President Dr. Greg Williams has led the effort for improvement. He thinks out of the box and encourages all of the faculty, staff and students to do things differently, resulting in immense success with the students as the main focus.  While OC received today’s award, Odessa is the real winner as we benefit from having them as a major contributor to our community,”

About 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 college. The Prize recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.
Madison Tate
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