Aspen Presidents Fellowship

Presidents Fellowship 2024-25

Exceptional community colleges have something in common: their leadership is intently focused on improving access, learning, equity, completion, and post-graduation success. This is no simple task. Community college presidents who are driving significant, systemic change to enhance excellence and equity must also navigate formidable obstacles posed by post-pandemic challenges, legislative mandates, and enrollment declines.

The Aspen Institute, which has researched the qualities and practices of effective community college leaders for more than a decade, has created an executive leadership program specifically tailored to presidents already in office, to support them in realizing their reform agendas. 

The Aspen Presidents Fellowship is an immersive, yearlong cohort-based program that merges learning, exploration, and collaborative exchange within a dynamic network of peers who are driven by a shared commitment to instigating profound, scalable transformations at their institutions. Guided by a balance of rigorous challenge and unwavering support, selected fellows have the opportunity to architect a forward-thinking blueprint for student success reforms explicitly tailored to their institution's needs.

Join us in reshaping the landscape of community college leadership and fostering a culture of excellence and equity in education. 
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for the Aspen Presidents Fellowship, community college presidents should meet the following criteria:
  • Have served as a community college president for a minimum of three years
  • Lead an institution that is ready for scaled, systemic change to improve student outcomes
  • Fall into one of the following categories:
    • Presidents whose institution is nearing the conclusion of an existing strategic plan and seeking to embark on the next significant reform
    • Presidents serving in their second presidency at a new institution who are eager to collaborate with experts and peers nationwide to advance their reform agenda
    • Presidents with an ongoing reform agenda who are seeking expert guidance to bring their initiatives to fruition
Additionally, alumni of the Aspen Rising Presidential Fellowships who fulfill the above criteria are strongly encouraged to apply and further contribute to our community of change-makers.
How can I learn more?
If you have any questions about the fellowship or eligibility, please register and join us at our upcoming virtual office hour on April 17th or message our team at  
What does this program include?
  • A yearlong commitment involving interactive engagement with peers and facilitators, including participation in two immersive, multi-day in-person seminars led by esteemed Aspen Institute staff, seasoned community college leaders, and prominent experts in the field of higher education; monthly calls; and online asynchronous activities
  • Opportunities for collaborative work within small groups, facilitated by peers and experts
  • Dedicated support for analyzing your college's student outcomes, with a keen focus on equity and fostering a comprehensive understanding of your institution's strengths, areas for improvement, and opportunities to advance excellence and equity in student success
  • Customized data reports that include disaggregated college data benchmarked against Aspen Prize finalists and the labor market and demographic data for your service area, as well as interactive dashboards focused on program enrollment
  • Structured guidance and assistance to propel each college’s agenda for student success reform
  • Access to a robust network of innovative peers, fostering both support and constructive challenge as fellows collectively pursue transformative change in the higher education landscape
When are applications open?
Applications will be open from April 9 through May 31. Nominations are encouraged but not required, and nominated candidates will be notified and encouraged to apply on a rolling basis.
What is the application process?
Applicants will submit an interest to apply form to gain access to the full application through the fellowship’s online application system. Applications will be reviewed and scored by committees of current and former presidents and other higher education leaders. Selected applicants will be advanced to an interview round held in July, and selection decisions will be announced in the fall of 2024.
When will the sessions take place?
In-person sessions will be held in March 2025 and Fall 2025 (exact dates TBD).
What is the cost?
This program, which includes meals and lodging for the residential seminars, is free for participants thanks to generous support from JPMorgan. Fellows are responsible for all travel costs.

Please send any questions to
The Presidents Fellowship is made possible by generous support from JPMorgan.
Contact us for more information.
Alison Quint, Associate Director