VP selected to national fellowship for community colleges(2)

April 30, 2018

Public Relations

Dr. Beatriz Joseph, Vice President of College Services for Palo Alto College, has been named to one of the prestigious 2018-2019 Aspen Presidential Fellows for Community College Excellence, a leadership program aimed at preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions across the nation to help students be more successful both in college and in the workforce. The fellowship is awarded by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. that aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes.  

Dr. Joseph, one of only four community college leaders in Texas to be awarded the fellowship, 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.

“We are proud to have Dr. Joseph named to this prestigious list and represent the Alamo Colleges District at a national level,” said Dr. Mike Flores, president of Palo Alto College. “The leadership and dedication she displays each day has helped transform the lives of students, and we know the Aspen Presidential Fellowship will only continue to help us impact more students in the coming years.”

Dr. Joseph and the 39 Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2018. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the Fellows will be mentored by community college leaders who have had outstanding results for their students, learn from national experts about ways to use data to make their students more successful, and learn how to create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, and employers in their community. 

The Aspen Fellowship responds to a growing need for a new generation of leaders who are well-equipped to meet the challenges facing community colleges. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade, and 71 percent of sitting community college presidents are white and 64 percent are male. The incoming class of Aspen Presidential Fellows is composed of 65 percent women, 43 percent people of color, and represents institutions of varying size and geographical spread. To date, 20 Aspen Presidential Fellows are now sitting community college presidents at institutions that collectively serve more than 250,000 students nationwide.

In October 2017, Palo Alto College and three of the colleges in the Alamo Colleges District were named to the Aspen Institutes list of 150 community colleges in the U.S. eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. The colleges were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize, which is awarded very two years and recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

Founded in January 2010, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has grown from a single project – the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence – to a multi-faceted set of more than 10 initiatives that aim to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership in ways that help institutions of higher education make the choices that matter most to improving student outcomes in completion, equity, labor market, and learning. The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.