RTC recognized for efforts to improve students’ lives

Courtesy of Renton Technical College

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Renton Technical College (RTC) one of top 150 community colleges in the country. As a top finalist, RTC is eligible to compete for the 2021 $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance.

RTC was recognized for its strength and improvement in student outcomes – including learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings, and equity. RTC was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide. RTC was a top 10 Aspen Prize college in 2015, and a top 150 school three times in a row.

“We are honored by the consistent recognition by the Aspen Institute because our values align so clearly with the nomination criteria,” RTC President Kevin McCarthy said. “Students succeed at RTC, and their success is our success. Equity is at the core of our mission.”

RTC boasts a completion rate of 65 percent – the highest in the state and among the highest in the country – and a job placement rate of 85 percent. Nearly 70 percent of students identify as students of color.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes, especially for the growing population of low-income students and students of color on American campuses.

“We’re pleased to see evidence that these institutions are improving, that more are delivering on their promise,” stated Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We’re also pleased to play a role in honoring outstanding community colleges and sharing what works to ensure great outcomes for students—through graduation and beyond.”

The top 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2020. A distinguished jury will make award decisions in spring 2021.