Dr. Theresa Felder, senior vice president of student success for Clark State Community College, has been named to The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program class of 2019-2020. The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is a leadership program designed to prepare the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success, both in college and in the labor market.
“Theresa Felder exemplifies the values of Clark State Community College: she works tirelessly to ensure that our students are successful,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “She is a dynamic and visionary leader. I can think of no one more deserving of this participation in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship than my esteemed colleague.”
The select group of 40 Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2019. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will work with mentors 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 excited to have been selected for the Aspen program and appreciate the support of Dr. Blondin, as well as our Board of Trustees,” said Felder. “I look forward to learning student success strategies from national experts from around the nation. This program will help me grow, personally and professionally, to become a more effective leader in positively impacting students.”
The Aspen Presidential 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.
Josh Wyner, executive director of The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, said 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. “These fellows have been chosen because they embody that commitment and, we believe, will build their skills even further to become transformational presidents,” he said.
To date, 33 Aspen Presidential Fellows are now sitting community college presidents at institutions that collectively serve more than 450,000 students nationwide.
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.