Tulsa Community College President and Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. has been selected for the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C., announced that Goodson joins the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidential Fellows, a diverse group of 40 extraordinary leaders with the drive and capacity to transform community colleges to achieve higher levels of student success.
Over the next decade, the majority of current community college presidents are expected to retire. At the same time, increasing numbers of students are flocking to community colleges to earn degrees that lead to good jobs, but too few actually graduate. The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence aims to equip college leaders with the tools they need to dramatically improve student outcomes.
“I am honored to have been selected, but this is truly about how to position and our students for success,” Goodson says. “The Aspen Institute is an outstanding organization known for sharing ideas and helping organizations grow. I know the program will be challenging as well as exciting since I am becoming the student and will be able to share with faculty and staff what I learn from this experience.”
Goodson 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. Fellows will participate in a series of innovative, action-oriented seminars and ongoing mentorship focused on a new vision for leadership, delivered in collaboration with Stanford University faculty and top community college leaders.
“This class of remarkable Fellows will expand the talent pipeline to the presidency at a time of dramatic presidential turnover and urgent need to improve student outcomes,” says Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “These individuals are deeply committed to making a difference – they are eager to take bold action to help more students, especially those facing the greatest odds, earn credentials that reflect rigorous learning and lead to well-paying jobs.”
The 2016-2017 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 17 states and 30 community colleges of varying sizes and will begin their program in July 2016 at Stanford University with anticipated completion in spring 2017. Applications for the second class will be available by Sept. 30. For more information, visit aspeninstitute.org.
The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.