Dr. Rhonda Epper Selected As One of Only 39 Nationwide for Aspen Presidential Fellowship

Highly Selective Program Expanding Talent Pipeline Amid Looming Shortage of Community College Presidents and Critical Need to Improve Student Success

Community College of Denver Provost Dr. Rhonda Epper has 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. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

“I am proud to have been selected for this class of fellows. It is a privilege to stand with so many other leaders who are committed to improving outcomes in community colleges,” said Rhonda Epper.

Epper and the 38 other Aspen Presidential Fellows in the 2017-2018 class will embark on a year-long fellowship this July. 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 and 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 in the past year. This staggering rate of 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 community colleges to earn degrees that lead to good jobs.

Epper 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.

The 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 24 states and 38 community colleges of varying sizes. For more information, visit the website for Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.

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.

About CCD

With more than 8,000 students, Community College of Denver (CCD) is the third-largest community college in Colorado and a leading point of entry to higher education for the city and county of Denver. CCD provides a cost-effective, high-quality college education to nontraditional students, along with access and opportunity, workforce development, training resources for local organizations and community partnerships. CCD is a federally funded Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS) and is one of 13 community colleges in the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). Learn more at www.CCD.edu.