Transformational Leadership

Excellent colleges have excellent leaders. That's why at Aspen, we invest in researching the qualities and practices of effective leadership and developing the next generation of leaders. Through applied executive leadership programs, curricular resources, hiring tools for boards of trustees, and partnerships with state education agencies and other organizations, we are developing a diverse cadre of change-makers who are equipped to lead significant improvement in equitable outcomes for their students and communities.

Our signature leadership development program, The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, includes two fellowships, one serving aspiring presidents and one serving sitting presidents. Both fellowships center on three broad themes: 
  • Leading for Student Success: Defining and assessing student success in multiple domains including learning, completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, labor market, and equity in access and outcomes.
  • Leading Transformational Change: Transforming institutional culture and core practices to deeply and sustainably improve student success and increase equity.
  • Partnering for Collective Action: Building new structures with external partners—including K-12 schools, universities, community-based organizations, and employers—to better support students.

Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence

Aspen Presidents Fellowship

For community college presidents who have been in-role for at least three years

Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship

For aspiring community college presidents

Leading for Community College Excellence: Curricular Resources

Tools for Hiring Community College Presidents

Leading the Senior Team: Curriculum to Make Change

Future of the College Presidency


The Role of Senior Leaders in Student Success
Crisis and Opportunity
Renewal and Progress
The President's Role in Improving Teaching and Learning
Diverse: JPMorgan Chase Grant to Enhance Aspen Institute's Community College Leader Development Initiative
Insider Higher Ed: Major investment in leadership development
Chronicle of Higher Education: What will it take to change the presidency?
Chronicle of Higher Education: What should a college president do in year one?
Hiring Exceptional Community College Presidents: Tools for Hiring Leaders who Advance Student Success and Access
Atlantic: Colleges are no match for American poverty
Our current leadership development work is made possible by generous support from the John M. Belk Endowment, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the College Futures Foundation, the Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan, the Kresge Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Contact us for more information.
Alison Quint, Associate Director