What Excellent Community Colleges Do

What Excellent Community Colleges Do Preparing All Students for Success

Joshua S. Wyner, Foreword by Anthony P. Carnevale
cloth, 200 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-650-0
Price: $60.00

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paper, 200 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-649-4
Price: $28.00

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Pub. Date: February 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-651-7

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In What Excellent Community Colleges Do, Joshua S. Wyner draws on the insights and evidence gained in administering the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.


Wyner’s book is readable, practical, and inspirational. He describes innovations used by the most successful community colleges to raise their completion rates, accelerate remediation for underprepared students, and achieve greater equity and higher achievement at the same time. It is a must-read for all who understand the importance of high-quality community colleges to a brighter American future.
— Alice M. Rivlin, senior fellow, The Brookings Institution

Joshua Wyner reminds us that the community college success agenda needs to be about more than increasing the number of credentials awarded. He shows how, with bold leadership—and enough time—a select group of colleges have transformed themselves in ways that not only increase graduation rates, but improve student learning and success in further education and employment, all while keeping an ‘open door’ to every student.
— Davis Jenkins, senior research associate, Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

Joshua Wyner is a leading advocate for equity and quality of education, particularly in the key arena of our community colleges, which enroll half of higher education students but remain woefully underfunded and underappreciated. Wyner understands that we must find improvements, and he is willing to ask the hard questions about how to get there. He has found compelling answers that will help guide us to better results for our students and for America’s social mobility and use of talent.
— Tony Marx, president, The New York Public Library, and former president, Amherst College

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About the Author

Joshua S. Wyner is the founder and executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, which aims to strengthen practice, policy, and leadership to substantially improve college student success. Among the initiatives Wyner established are the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which recognizes schools that achieve outstanding student outcomes, and the New College Leadership Project, which seeks to align the recruitment, hiring, and professional development of college presidents with student success goals.

Before starting the Aspen program in 2011, Wyner spent the previous sixteen years working to improve educational outcomes and urban policy as a leader of nonprofit organizations, including the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and DC Appleseed. He spent his early career as an organizer and policy analyst with Citizen Action, as a program evaluator at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and as an environmental attorney. He lives with his wife and sons in Washington, DC.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Anthony P. Carnevale

Interview with Author

E-book available through online booksellers

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