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Highly-selective program expands talent pipeline amid looming shortage of community college presidents and critical need to improve student success

Dr. Melissa Frank-Alston, Senior Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness & Research at Augusta Technical College and Dr. Kimberly Lee, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness at Albany Technical College, have been awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a highly selective leadership program aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders capable of transforming student success at community colleges across the U.S.

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The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC, announced that Frank-Alston and Lee join the 2017-2018 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows.

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Frank-Alston and Dr. Lee,” said Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia. “Their commitment to excellence in their profession honors their colleges and the entire system, but most importantly has a tremendous impact on their students.”

Drs. Frank-Alston, Lee, and the 38 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a year-long fellowship in July 2017. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders, the program focuses on a new vision of leadership and aims to guide new and aspiring community college presidents to dramatically change student outcomes in four areas: learning, completion while in community college of bachelor’s degrees after transfer, employment and earnings after graduation, and equitable access and success for underrepresented minority and low-income students.

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 365 presidents left their posts over the past year. This turnover is happening at the same time that increasing numbers of students—including growing numbers of minority, low-income, and first-generation to college students—are flocking to technical and community colleges to earn certificates, diplomas and degrees that lead to good jobs.

Drs. Frank-Alston and Lee were selected through a rigorous process that considered their ability to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.

The 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 24 states and 38 community colleges. More information is available here.

The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.

From a press release issued by Augusta Tech

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