Salina Tech Recognized as One of Top 150 Colleges

Salina Area Technical College has been named one of the top 150 two-year colleges in the United States by the Aspen Institute, and is now eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

The colleges selected for this recognition stand out among more than 1,000 two-year colleges nationwide for having high and improving levels of student success, as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds.

This is the seventh consecutive time Salina Tech has made the Aspen Institute’s list.

“By many measures, two-year colleges in Kansas out-perform similar institutions across the country, and Salina Tech routinely leads Kansas in metrics such as graduation rates, job placement and overall student success,” said Salina Tech President Greg Nichols. “This recognition is the result of years of work by our faculty and staff, continuously looking at how we can improve what we do.”

Among the criteria the Aspen Institute examined were the overall three-year graduation rate, the three-year graduation rate among students of color, and the three-year graduation rate among low-income students.

In each of those cases, Salina Tech scored way above the national averages, even for those 150 top colleges. Salina Tech’s three-year graduation rate is 70.9 percent, compared to a national average of 45.2 percent. Among students of color, Salina Tech’s graduation rate is 64.3 percent, compared to a national average of 39.6 percent. And among low-income students, Salina Tech’s graduation rate was 52.5 percent, compared to a national average of 26.4 percent.

The Aspen Prize spotlights exemplary community colleges in order to elevate the sector, drive attention to colleges doing the best work, and discover and share highly effective student success and equity strategies. Since 2010, Aspen has chosen to focus intensively on community colleges because they are—as First Lady Jill Biden stated at the 2021 Aspen Prize ceremony—“a powerful engine of prosperity.”