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By Paul Bradley  /  
2014 July 22 - 08:30 pm

Coming Sept 29: A look at the 2015 Aspen Awards Finalists

The South Bronx is not normally the first place you’d look for one of the nation’s most successful community colleges. It was in the 1970s that the southern part of the New York City of the Bronx became synonymous with urban decay, inner-city violence and unremitting poverty. Images of raging fire and burned-out buildings took firm hold in the public imagination. Since then, the area has not experienced much of the redevelopment that has helped revive areas like Harlem. But there are signs of a turnaround, perhaps most apparent at , Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY). The college was recently named named as one of 10 finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s nation’s preeminent recognition of high achievement among America’s community colleges. It now enters a competition for a $1 million  prize and national accolades. From an initial facility housed in a former tire factory 46 years ago, Hostos has become a prominent institution of higher learning, serving 7,000 students and more than 13,000 continuing education students. Among other things, the college has established a host of support programs to help its large number of immigrant and minority students. We take a look at some of the Aspen finalists, including Chicago’s Kennedy-King College and Brazosport College in Texas, which just three years ago was on a list of colleges that state lawmakers wanted to close.  

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