Amarillo College’s No Excuses Poverty Initiative has attracted national attention for the breadth of support it offers students.

"At Amarillo College, 55 percent of students are food-insecure, meaning they’re hungry, or at risk of hunger, compared with 43 percent of community-college students nationally, according to two studies released last year, including a detailed case study of Amarillo's No Excuses program. Both were led by Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher-education policy and sociology at Temple University and founder of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice.

Meanwhile, 59 percent of Amarillo College’s students were housing-insecure, meaning that they’re in danger of not being able to pay their rent, mortgage, or utilities, or have to move frequently, often into crowded living quarters, to make ends meet. That’s considerably higher than the 46-percent

The Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program announced Palo Alto College as a "Rising Star" award winner of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation's signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America's community colleges.

"Representing the Alamo Colleges District and community colleges across the nation at this level is an honor for each one of us at Palo Alto College, and this achievement would not have been possible without our faculty and staff's commitment to the journey and the support of our entire community, including the leadership of the Alamo Colleges District," said Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College. "Whether students are the first in their family to attend college or looking to continue their education, Palo Alto College has always believed that education should be accessible to everyone. And by keeping our

Odessa College, a finalist for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, was recognized by Aspen with a "Rising Star" award for dramatic improvement, accompanied by a $100,000 cash award. During a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Odessa College was honored for its remarkable efforts to engage students and faculty, resulting in a record-low course withdrawal rate of 1.8 percent and an increase in the graduation and transfer rate over five years from 15 percent to 36 percent.
“In a community where a college education has historically not been needed for a good job in the oil fields, Odessa understands that the world of work is changing and will demand increasing levels of educational attainment,” said Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “That is why Odessa is singularly focused on finding innovative strategies to

The Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence named San Jacinto College as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation. The announcement was made Tuesday at a luncheon in Washington, D.C.

“I am honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of the entire San Jacinto College community,” said Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “This award reflects the achievements and commitment of our faculty, staff, and administration who are focused on helping our diverse student population pursue and accomplish their goals. As a College, we hold ourselves to the ultimate measure of student success, and being recognized as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation is proof that our mission to provide innovative, accessible education is being accomplished.”

Read more about this accomplishment at San Jacinto News.  

"There is strong bipartisan support for reauthorizing the Higher Education Act this year, particularly in the Senate, but there are plenty of policy issues that lawmakers need to work out, according to a U.S. Education Department (ED) official."

Some of these conversations are centered around:

  • Allowing dual-enrollment students to tap Pell grants
  • Extending Pell eligibility to certain inmates
  • Writing a new state Perkins plan
  • Establishing a program to help colleges establish effective apprenticeships


For a more in-depth analysis of these topics and their discussion, visit Community College Daily here