Aspen New Presidents Fellowship

“It can be difficult to remain connected with others during these unprecedented times. Fortunately, the dynamic network of the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship provides me and my peers with not only information and resources, but an engaged community where we frequently connect in order to grow and learn best practices in a rapidly changing environment. I am grateful to be a member of this fellowship. My colleagues across the nation have a range of experiences and expertise and I value this opportunity to discuss ideas and receive feedback. I received support that helped me fine-tune some of our new student success initiatives at Cerritos College.” 
— Jose Fierro, Aspen Presidential Fellow 2020-21, Cerritos College 
"Being part of the New Presidents Fellowship has been invaluable. The program created a safe environment to share, reflect, and navigate the leadership challenges presented by Covid-19 and the increased calls for racial justice in our country. To be among peers who share a commitment to student success and equity who are navigating this moment in history together provides the opportunity to reflect, refresh and re-prioritize personal and institutional commitments."
— Joianne Smith, Aspen Presidential Fellow 2020-21, Oakton Community College
“Participation in the New Presidents Fellowship has been rewarding and enriching. The knowledge and tools have positioned me to lead transformational change, while fostering collaboration across complex organizational structures.”
— Larry Johnson, Aspen Presidential Fellow 2020-21, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College
“The fellowship provided invaluable connections and inspiration. Connecting with colleagues who are dedicated to the community college mission provides counsel, support and levity as we navigate the changing landscape. The knowledge that we’re doing this together has inspired me to do better and be better for our students and our communities.”
— Hara Charlier, Aspen Presidential Fellow 2020-21, Central Lakes College
Serving as a community college president is a hard job—and it's even harder for those trying to advance an ambitious student success agenda. To support these leaders, we have added a new initiative to the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence: the New Presidents Fellowship.

Each year, Aspen selects 25 exceptional leaders in the first five years of a college presidency for this intensive executive leadership program, in which participants:
  • Participate in two multi-day seminars led by Aspen Institute faculty and top community college professionals
  • Deeply analyze their colleges’ student outcomes in a focused, comprehensive way that fully integrates equity
  • Devise concrete plans to tackle student success challenges with structured support
  • Join a network of forward-thinking peers who support and challenge one another in pursuit of broad change
  • Engage in learning between sessions that includes peer consultancy, webinars, and mentorship 
Who can apply?
Applicants must currently be the president or chancellor of an accredited public community or technical college and have no more than five years’ cumulative experience as a college president. Alumni from Rising Presidents Fellowship Cohorts 1 through 4 are eligible to apply.

Ideal candidates are motivated by the potential of community colleges to advance the lives of students and to grow the health and vitality of communities. They aspire to be transformational presidents—those who will lead their institutions to achieve significant improvements in student outcomes and greater equity in educational access and success. They are strategic innovators who are willing to take risks.

Presidents must attest that the chair of their board of trustees supports their participation. They must commit to attending and being fully engaged in the two residential seminars, and engaging in activities before each session to explore quantitative and qualitative information about student success challenges. Other learning opportunities, such as webinars and one-day Aspen Institute topical seminars, are optional.

The Aspen Institute is committed to developing talented leaders who reflect the diversity of the students and communities that community colleges serve. We strongly encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and from all groups representative of varying races and ethnicities, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, nationalities, cultures, religions, and ability statuses.
When will the New Presidents Fellowship be held?
Sessions for the 2022-23 cohort will be held in January 2023 and June 2023.
What is the cost to participate?
Thanks to the generous support of JPMorgan Chase, there is no tuition for the New Presidents Fellowship. Lodging and on-site meals are also included. Participants are responsible for arranging and paying for their travel to and from the seminars. Need-based financial aid is available to offset travel costs; applications are available after selection.
How does the New Presidents Fellowship differ from other presidential leadership programs?
This program is entirely focused on helping presidents advance student outcomes in completion, learning, transfer, employment and earnings for graduates, and equity for low-income students and students of color. Other leadership programs—many of which offer significant value in other leadership competencies—include some focus on student success, but none shares the New Presidents Fellowship’s singular focus.
How does the New Presidents Fellowship differ from the Rising Presidents Fellowship?
While the Rising Presidents Fellowship serves aspiring presidents, the New Presidents Fellowship is designed specifically for sitting presidents, providing actionable guidance to plan and execute transformational change in real time at the institutions they lead. If you have question about which program to select, please contact us.
How can I apply?
Applications for the 2022-2023 cohort are now available here.
How can I nominate a great candidate?
Aspen strongly encourages nominations of exceptional leaders who are well positioned to benefit from the New Presidents Fellowship. The online nomination form is available here and open year-round. Nominees will be contacted on a rolling basis.
2022 Informational Webinar
An informational webinar took place on February 3. Please find a recording here and reach out to with any additional questions.
The New Presidents Fellowship is made possible by generous support from JPMorgan.
Contact us for more information.
Alison Quint, Associate Director