2015-2016 Community College Presidents' Symposia

June 26, 2016 - June 28, 2016

Queenstown, MD


[September 27-29, 2015 Warrenton, VA]

[November 15-17, 2015 Chantilly, VA]

[April 20-22 2016 Queenstown, MD]

Although this series is over, we had added a few resources from the DREAM 2017 Presidents and Chancellors Colloquium, including advance readings, colloquium handouts, a recently refreshed community engagement guidebook from Public Agenda, and a publication from Higher Standards for Higher Education: 

Advanced Readings

  • Collective Impact, published in Stanford Social Innovation Review (2011). In this article, John Kania and Mark Kramer present the collective impact framework and give examples of collective impact in practice.
  • Collective Impact Principles of Practice, co-authored by collective impact’s leading practitioners (2015). This short article outlines how to put collective impact into action and is in some respects a “2.0” version of the 2011 article. 
  • Ten Places Where Collective Impact Gets It Wrong, essay by Tom Wolff (2016). This piece discusses critiques of collective impact.
  • Advancing the Practice of Collective Impact, blog by John Kania and Mark Kramer (2016). In this blog, the authors of the 2011 Collective Impact article respond to Tom Wolff’s essay.

Colloquium Handouts

Additional Resources


Utilizing a curriculum developed by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program with national experts in research and practice, the selected community college presidents will participate in a two and one-half day symposium which will address student success in one of four areas:

  1. [September 2015 - Implementing Guided Pathways as Structural Reform:  this symposium will focus on (1) the potential for guided pathways to improve student outcomes substantially, and (2) the critical role of the president in leading the transition from current “cafeteria” models to guided pathways structures.  The session will cover the primary goals of guided pathways reforms; the core elements of a guided pathways approach that distinguish it from most existing structures; and concrete steps the president can take to initiate and advance pathways design.] 
  2. [November 2015 - Working with Employers to Create Sustained Economic Impact:  this symposium covers how presidents can ensure that their community college delivers high-quality programs that result in strong labor market outcomes for graduates.  Among the topics covered will be engaging employers in curriculum development and the provision of on-the-job training; developing systems for strong support and honest feedback from employers; using data and conversations to project labor market demand and assess the success of graduates in the labor markets; and the role of the president in leading the institutional conversation about engaging business and industry and improving labor market outcomes for graduates.] 
  3. [April 2016 - Engaging Faculty in Scaled Improvements to Teaching and Learning:  this symposium will provide concrete strategies for presidents to employ to deeply engage faculty in student success reforms.  Drawn from institutions around the country with exceptional faculty cultures, the session will cover strategies for building urgency and common understanding of student success challenges; structures and tools that can be used to broaden faculty engagement; and ways to align hiring and professional development with student learning goals.]
  4. June 26-28, 2016 - Engaging Four-year Institutional Partners to Ensure Strong Transfer Outcomes:  this symposium will cover the role of the president in developing highly effective community college-to-university transfer partnerships that maximize student transfer and baccalaureate attainment.  The symposium will equip community college presidents to develop strong relationships with their four-year counterparts, empower others in their institutions to do the same, and work with internal stakeholders to align advising, courses and program structure with the goal of improving opportunity and success among transfer students.

The June 26-28, 2016 symposium will engage 25 presidents in reflective discussion and problem solving, using each other and national experts as sounding boards and advisors for change strategies. The presidents will be exposed to best practices for leading institutional reforms drawn from Achieving the Dream Leader College and Aspen Prize finalists’ experiences and will develop personal plans for how they will apply lessons and new skill sets. Presidents will report back periodically over the following year on the impact of their plans. 

Priority for selection will be given to presidents that expect to remain in the community college field for three or more years. Travel expenses for invited presidents will be covered by Achieving the Dream.

Documents below:

The Symposia Schedule Format outlines the tentative schedule format for the remaining June 2016 symposium: Engaging Four-year Institutional Partners to Ensure Strong Transfer Outcomes

The final document is the Word version of this web page.

Click here to apply for the June 26-28, 2016 Community College Presidents' Symposia.  Achieving the Dream will accept applications for the  Achieving the Dream-Aspen Presidents’ Leadership June 26-28 Symposium until all the June symposium positions are filled. Twenty-five presidents will engage in reflective discussion and problem solving, using each other and national experts as sounding boards and advisors for change strategies. The session is open to chancellors and presidents of Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges, Aspen Prize finalists, and presidents of any community college in North Carolina, Texas, or Washington plus selected regions in Florida. Travel expenses for invited presidents will be covered by Achieving the Dream. 

June 26-28 2016            Queenstown, MD

Engaging Four-year Institutional Partners to Ensure Strong Transfer Outcomes

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