The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program announced that Monica Castaneda, vice president of student affairs at Glendale Community College, 6000 W. Olive Ave., is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2020-21 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, a highly selected leadership program preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.
The Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will be mentored by esteemed current and former community college presidents who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers, and will learn strategies to improve student outcomes in and after college, lead internal change, and create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, employers, and other partners.
“I’m honored to be selected to be an Aspen Fellow,” Ms. Castaneda stated in a news release. “The program will provide me with the training, mentorship and strategic visioning necessary to be an effective community college president. In my role as vice president of student affairs, I’m looking forward to working with my mentor and identifying my professional growth opportunities.”
The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 70 percent women and 61 percent people of color and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations.
Together, the 2020-21 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 500,000 students. As well, 42 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 500,000 students nationwide.