Aspen Institute, JPMorgan Chase Partner in $3.2 Million Initiative to Develop Community College Leaders

March 18, 2019

The $3.2 million grant will foster the next generation of community college leaders

Contact: Linda Perlstein
College Excellence Program | The Aspen Institute

Washington, D.C., March 18, 2019—The College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute announced today that it has received a $3.2 million grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to extend its nationally recognized work developing the next generation of community college leaders.

The three-year grant will support the creation of the Aspen New Presidents Institute, which will help community college presidents in their first few years on the job develop, lead, and promote institutional reforms that improve outcomes—equitably for all students—in learning, degree and credential completion, and success in further education and the workforce. Starting in spring 2020, the program will develop 25 presidents a year through residential seminars and virtual learning.

The grant will also enhance existing funding for the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a professional development program for aspiring college presidents that began in 2016.

“There’s a consensus across our country that community colleges must improve outcomes for students, especially those whom the system too often leaves behind, and that great leaders are key to this work,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program and an Aspen Institute vice president. “We are thrilled that this investment will expand our ability to develop exceptional community college presidents committed to and capable of transformational change.”

This commitment to the Aspen Institute is part of a $350 million investment, announced today, that JPMorgan Chase is making over the next five years to help prepare for the future of work by supporting community colleges and other nontraditional career pathway programs.

“The new world of work is about skills,” said Jennie Sparandara, head of workforce initiatives, corporate responsibility, at JPMorgan Chase. “We are partnering with the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program to support the development of diverse community college leaders who possess the strategic vision to transform and enhance community colleges so that students have a clearer path to long-term economic success.”

The investment comes at a critical juncture for community colleges. Approximately four in five community college presidents are expected to retire in the next decade, at a time when the challenges of the job are greater than ever. The Aspen Presidential Fellowship has begun to fill the gap: Since the program began two and a half years ago, 32 fellows have been named to community college presidencies, at institutions that collectively educate nearly a half-million students.

Aspen’s college leadership programs are designed to build a more diverse cadre of leaders. Two-thirds of all Aspen Presidential Fellows are women, compared to only one-third of sitting community college presidents. Thirty-seven percent of fellows are people of color, compared to 29 percent of sitting presidents.

Applications for the Aspen New Presidents Institute will open in late 2019.

About the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program
The College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes, especially for the growing population of low-income and minority students on American campuses. The program is part of The Aspen Institute, which has a mission of fostering leadership based on enduring values and providing a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. For more information, visit and and follow @AspenHigherEd on Twitter.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at


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