Today, Arizona State University and McGraw-Hill Education announced the winners of the 2017 Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education, one of the most prestigious awards in the field.

The winners were recognized in three categories — U.S. K-12 Education, U.S. Higher Education and International Education — and will each receive an award of $50,000 and a McGraw Prize bronze sculpture.

The 2017 McGraw Prize winners are: 

  • Christine Cunningham: The founder and director of Engineering is Elementary (EiE) at the Museum of Science in Boston is receiving the U.S. K-12 Education prize for pioneering a curriculum that is transforming education by introducing engineering concepts and practices at the elementary level. 
  • Sandy Shugart: The president of Valencia College is receiving the U.S. Higher Education prize for demonstrating a stellar model of community college change that is increasing graduation rates and helping large numbers of Hispanic students succeed. 
  • Chris Anderson: The curator of TED, the nonprofit that produces TED Talks, is receiving the International Education award for providing a platform that brings ideas and inspiration to millions of learners around the world and to teachers and students in classrooms. 

Promoting academic success for Latino students: Sandy Shugart

Shugart is president of Valencia College, a public college in Orlando with 65,000 students on five campuses. He has transformed his institution by focusing on best practices of student success. Valencia enrolls and advances large numbers of Hispanic students and is cited as a stellar model in community college change, with proven results. From 2006 to 2014, Valencia has witnessed an 83 percent increase in the number of students who earn an A.A. degree each year.

In fact, Valencia ranks fourth in the country among colleges and universities in the number of associate degrees awarded. Its associate degree graduates now gain automatic entry into the University of Central Florida, and one quarter of UCF’s graduates are now transfers from Valencia. Valencia has received the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and Excelencia in Education for its promotion of academic success for Latino students.