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Secretary Riley Recognizes Top Community Colleges

WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 14, 2011) -- Former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, a partner in the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough law firm, participated in the Aspen Institute's presentation of its first recognition of the nation's top community colleges.

"Community colleges for too long have been under-appreciated,” said Secretary Riley, co-chair of the jury that selected the winners. “By 2018, more than 60 percent of American jobs will require some kind of post-secondary qualification, and community colleges are uniquely poised to answer the needs of both employers and students looking for economic security.

"Community colleges share a common and vital purpose in preparing students of all ages, including working adults, for jobs and continued academic study,” added Secretary Riley. “For seven million Americans, they represent the most promising path to education and employment. But, for community colleges to fulfill that promise, we need to identify ways for them to boost student success -- and that’s what this prize is all about.”

Secretary Riley participated in the announcement along with Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, a longtime educator; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Aspen Institute President and CEO and Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson; and John Engler, former Governor of Michigan and President of the Business Roundtable.

Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, received the recognition as the nation’s top community college. Four “finalists with distinction” also were named. Click here for a full list of winners.