Highly selective program designed to address critical need to improve student success
Dr. Tonjua Williams, Sr. Vice President of Student Services and Dr. Jesse Coraggio, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services have each been awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.
The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C., today announced that Williams and Coraggio join 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.
The Fellowship is a highly selective year-long program to prepare leaders aspiring, or recently appointed, to the community college presidency. Fellows will participate in a series of innovative seminars and ongoing mentorship focused on a new vision for leadership, delivered in collaboration with Stanford University faculty and top community college leaders.
“All of us at SPC are deeply proud of Dr. Williams and Dr. Coraggio for their unwavering commitment to improving student success. They have made bold and strategic moves to tackle challenges facing students with unparalleled dedication to improving students’ lives,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “I think it speaks volumes that the Aspen Institute has chosen not one – but two – of our college’s valued leaders for this prestigious honor. When accomplishments like theirs are recognized, we all feel good!”
Williams and Coraggio were selected through a rigorous process that considered their abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.
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 September 30, 2016. For more information, visit: http://aspeninstitute.org/pres-fellowship.
Both Williams and Coraggio said they felt extremely honored to be selected.
“I am humbled by this selection and look forward with enthusiasm to the opportunities this fellowship will provide for our college,” said Dr. Tonjua Williams.
“I am honored to be selected into the Aspen Presidential Fellowship program,” said Dr. Coraggio. “This selection for Dr. Williams and myself is a true testament to the college’s hard work and dedication to improving the lives of our students. I look forward to this valuable opportunity to work with, and learn from, college leadership from across the country.”
The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.