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 Cohort 1-4 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.

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 physical abilities.

Ideal candidates are motivated by the potential of community colleges to impact the lives of students and to grow the health and vitality of communities. Aspen fellows aspire to be transformational community college presidents—those who will lead their institutions to achieve significant improvements in student outcomes and greater equity in educational access and success. They possess the willingness to take risks to lead transformational change and are strategic, reform-minded thinkers and innovators. Applicants should aspire to enter a presidency within five years of completing the fellowship.

The Rising Presidents Fellowship program is committed to identifying and developing talented leaders that reflect the diversity of the communities and students that the nations’ community colleges serve, and we strongly encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and from all groups representative of varying race and ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, religion, and physical abilities. We also encourage applicants from a variety of professional backgrounds, including:

  • Campus presidents, provosts, or vice presidents at a community college
  • Senior administrators in other higher education institutions or K-12 systems
  • Executives from outside of education with deep commitment to ensuring students’ success