April 12, 2019
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Dr. Daisy Gonzales, deputy chancellor of California Community Colleges, has been selected by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program to join the 2019-20 class of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.
The leadership program aimed at preparing 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.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Gonzales has been selected for the 2019-20 Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley Ortiz. “She is an outstanding leader, problem solver and a fierce advocate for our 2.1 million students. This leadership program holds great opportunity, and I am confident the Aspen Institute’s work to build the next generation of community college presidents will help bridge the gap in student success. Our congratulations also go to Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza of Skyline College and Denise Whisenhunt of San Diego City College, who will join Dr. Gonzales as the other California fellows in this prestigious cohort.”
Dr. Gonzales and the 39 other 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 – current and former community college presidents – 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, fouryear colleges, and employers.
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. The pathway to replace them has traditionally excluded women and people of color. The incoming class of Aspen Presidential Fellows is 65 percent female and non-binary, 43 percent are people of color, and their institutions vary widely in size and location.
“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,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “These fellows have been chosen because they embody that commitment and, we believe, will build their skills even further to become transformational presidents.”
Dr. Gonzales 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.
For a bio and photo of Dr. Gonzales and a list of the 2019-20 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows, visit: http://as.pn/1ky. 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.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success , a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The Aspen College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices and leadership strategies that significantly improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income students and students of color on American campuses. For more information, visit highered.aspeninstitute.org.