April 12, 2019
Tallahassee, Fla. (April 12, 2019)– Tallahassee Community College Vice President for Student Affairs Sheri Rowland has been selected to join the 2019-2020 class of the Aspen Institute’s Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. The fellowship, which is the institute’s fourth annual leadership program aimed at preparing the next generation of community college presidents, begins in July 2019.
The program is delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative. The fellows will work with mentors – current and former community college presidents – who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers. Fellows will also learn from national experts about ways to harness data to assess student success outcomes, strategies for internal change leadership, and how to create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, and employers.
"I am honored to be selected as one of the forty leaders to participate in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship Program,” Dr. Rowland said. “This is a highly selective program providing exemplary leadership development for individuals interested in future college presidencies. To have the privilege to learn from some of the most outstanding presidents from across the country and to join a cohort of professional colleagues with similar aspirations is a remarkable opportunity that I am extremely humbled to be a part of joining.”
According to the Aspen Institute, the fellowship responds to a specific and growing need for a new generation of leaders who are well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of community college presidents plan to retire in the next decade. The pathway to replace them has traditionally excluded women and people of color. The incoming class of 40 Aspen Presidential Fellows is 65 percent female and non-binary, 43 percent are people of color, and their institutions vary widely in size and location.
“Evidence shows that substantial improvements in student success are achieved only when presidents have the commitment and skill needed to lead change within their institutions and through partnerships in the community,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “These fellows have been chosen because they embody that commitment and, we believe, will build their skills even further to become transformational presidents.”
Rowland was selected through a rigorous process that considered her abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.
The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.