Dr. Tracie Clark Chosen for National Presidential Fellowship for Community College Leaders
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Dr. Tracie Clark, vice president of strategy and organization excellence, at Central Piedmont Community College, is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2021-22 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, a highly selective leadership program preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.
The Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on the 10-month fellowship beginning in November 2021. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will be mentored by esteemed current and former community college presidents who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers, and will learn strategies to improve student outcomes in and after college, lead internal change, and create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, employers, and other partners.
Clark has worked at Central Piedmont 21 years in a number of important leadership roles, including communications faculty member, chair of the inaugural Quality Enhancement Plan Development and Implementation Committee, special assistant to the president, chair of the Student Success Leadership Team, and currently as a vice president - strategy and organization excellence.
“To become institutions that truly advance social mobility and talent development, community colleges must have presidents with a clear vision for equitable student success,” said Monica Clark, director of leadership initiatives at the College Excellence Program. “We have selected these fellows because they share that commitment and are well-positioned to become transformational leaders.”
“I am excited and proud that Dr. Tracie Clark will be a 2021-22 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “Dr. Clark epitomizes all of the qualities the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship seeks. She has a been leader, motivator and chief strategist in Central Piedmont’s efforts to improve our student experience and achieve greater levels of student retention and success among all of our students.
“Her leadership has been and will continue to be crucial as Central Piedmont endeavors to build more paths of opportunity and economic mobility for students beginning their higher education journey, seeking skills to build a family-sustaining career, or obtaining additional credentials for career growth,” Deitemeyer added.
The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has often excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 68 percent women and 70 percent people of color, and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations.
Together, the 2021-22 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 400,000 students. As well, 67 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 953,000 students nationwide.