College in WA, CA win top community college prize

<p>Walla Walla Community College</p>

Walla Walla Community College

SEATTLE (AP) -- Walla Walla Community College in Washington state and Santa Barbara City College in California have won the prestigious Aspen Prize for their success at attracting, retaining and graduating students into jobs and four-year universities.

The winners were announced Tuesday at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Each win a prize of $400,000.

Two other top colleges-- Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, S.D. -- will each receive $100,000 as finalists-with distinction.

Walla Walla was chosen for its skills at following economic trends and training students to work in emerging job markets. Santa Barbara was picked for its success at attracting, and graduating students from low-income or minority families and sending off to then graduate from four-year schools at impressive rates.