Broward College, one of the largest community colleges in Florida with three campuses, several educational centers, a student body of over 67,000 and staff of over 2000, has been recognized as a “College of Distinction” by the Aspen Institute based in Washington DC.
Every two years the Aspen Institute make award to community colleges it assesses to be the top performing colleges in the nation. The top, coveted award is the Community College Excellence award. This year that award went to Lake Area Technical Institute in South Dakota. Broward College tied for second place position out of the top ten colleges for the “College of Distinction” award with another Florida college, the Indian River State College in Fort Pierce.
The winning college received a cash prize of $600,000, and the Colleges of Distinction receives a prize of $100,000 each.
In 2013, Broward college was included in the top 10 community colleges selected by Aspen Institute.
The highlights identified by Aspen in making this distinguish award to Broward College included: Increasing the number of students who complete their degrees and graduate in a shorter time span; for its Pathways educational model which allow more students to pursue courses in keeping with their plans for continued education in four-year colleges, and to assist them in obtaining to eastly access employment on graduation.
Broward College has played an increasingly important role in the higher education of Caribbean Americans. Brandon Laidlaw an admission officer for the college said, “The college’s population is extremely diverse, and students originating from the Caribbean make up some 30 percent of the college’s annual population.”
Stanford Bucknor, originally of Jamaica, is a veteran graduate of Broward College having attended the Davie Campus of the college from 1974 to 1975. His wife, Lily, and three sons and daughter are also graduates of the College. “We all went on to other colleges after graduating from BC. I can honestly attest that the foundation we got from attending BC made it easier for every member in my family and myself to graduate from the advanced colleges we attended. The academic, financial administration and counseling staff at BC were consistent in their professionalism and assistance during our tenure at the college. The college genuinely deserve this award.”
In presenting the “College of Distinction” award to Broward College’s president, J. David Armstrong, former US Congressman George Miller referred to the college as a “Shining example of how community colleges can enroll very diverse populations and prepare them for four-year universities,”
Armstrong expressed gratitude to the college’s faculty, counselors, community partners, and student body for the award the college received. He referred to the accomplishment of the students over the years as a testament “to the impressive accomplishments of the students made by applying grit and determination.”