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7 Maricopa Community colleges have chance to win $1M

(Google Maps)

PHOENIX – Seven community colleges in metro Phoenix are in the running for a $1 million prize from a nonprofit think tank, the Maricopa Community College District announced Tuesday.

The campuses at Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale and South Mountain were chosen for the first round of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, handed out every two years.

The 150 schools that made the first round outlasted a field of 1,000.

The 10 finalists will be announced in May and the prize will be awarded in 2021.

“The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program recognizes our commitment to the success of our students and dedication to serving our community,” Maricopa colleges’ Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick said in a statement.

Pima Community College in southern Arizona also made the list.

The selection process begins with determining eligibility based on an assessment of student outcomes at more than 1,000 community colleges, according to the Washington-based nonprofit think tank.

The 150 schools then submit applications that will be looked over by a committee, after which 10 finalists will be named.

A panel will spend about a day on each campus.

The final step will award a winner, a finalist with distinction and a rising star.

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