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Broward College and Indian River State College Recognized as Aspen Institute Finalists with Distinction

March 14, 2017

FDOE Press Office

Broward College and Indian River State College Recognized as Aspen Institute Finalists with Distinction

Tallahassee, Fla., March 14, 2017 – Today, Broward College and Indian River State College were honored with the 2017 Aspen Prize Finalist-with-Distinction Award, which includes a $100,000 cash prize. This award recognizes colleges who set the bar high and executed plans to exceed their own ambitions.

"I am incredibly proud that out of nearly 1,000 colleges throughout the country, two of our Florida Colleges have once again been recognized as national leaders for access, affordability and student success,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “This esteemed award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Broward College and Indian River State College students, as well as the faculty and leadership, who have clearly made students their top priority.” 

Florida has had a winner or finalist since the inception of this prestigious award, which 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.

Valencia College was the program’s inaugural winner in 2011. Also in 2011, Miami Dade College was a finalist-with-distinction. Broward College and Santa Fe College were named to the top ten in 2013. In 2015, Santa Fe College was named the winner and Indian River State College was named to the top ten.

“As Chancellor of Florida’s 28 colleges, I am proud of Broward College and Indian River State College for consistently offering an affordable education and achieving top graduation rates,” said Florida College System Chancellor Madeline Pumariega. “These distinctions of excellence further the successes of the Florida College System, which provides access to all Floridians seeking higher education as a pathway to the workforce.”

The open access and affordability of our Florida Colleges have benefitted millions of Floridians, and the colleges remained focused on having students successfully complete their degrees to high-wage career opportunities and further education.

“Our designation as a College of Distinction affirms years of hard work by our passionate faculty, advisors, counselors, community partners, and students,” said President J. David Armstrong, Jr, Broward College. “Our faculty will do anything to support our students. Advisors and counselors work tirelessly to guide our students down their academic path, and community partners help us provide real-world experiences that augment education in the classroom. Finally, what our students have accomplished is nothing short of impressive. This award is about their grit, determination and, ultimately, success.”

“The selection of Indian River State College as a 2017 Aspen Prize Finalist with Distinction is a tremendous honor recognizing the exceptional commitment to student success and results achieved by our college’s faculty, staff and administration.  Above all else it’s the perseverance of our students that inspires us to continuous improvement,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “IRSC was particularly commended as an example of outstanding responsiveness to business and community needs.”

For more information on the Aspen Prize, go to,

For more information on Florida’s College System, visit

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