ECC's Peggy Heinrich selected for the Aspen Institute's Rising Presidents Fellowship

  • Peggy Heinrich, Ed.D., vice president of teaching, learning, and student development at Elgin Community College.

    Peggy Heinrich, Ed.D., vice president of teaching, learning, and student development at Elgin Community College. Courtesy of Mark Carriveau / Elgin Community College

 
 
Updated 9/9/2022 11:07 PM

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program announced that Peggy Heinrich, EdD, vice president of teaching, learning, and student development at Elgin Community College, is one of 31 leaders in the nation selected for the 2022-23 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. This program, delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, prepares the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.

Many sitting community college presidents plan to retire in the next decade, creating vacancies and an opportunity to diversify college leadership. Aspen Presidential Fellows represent the next generation of college leadership: this incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is 70 percent female, and 54 percent are people of color. The institutions they represent are also diverse, located in 16 states, from small rural colleges to large urban campuses. The fellows, selected through a competitive process, will work closely with highly accomplished community college presidents, Aspen leaders, and Stanford University faculty over ten months to learn from field-leading research, define and assess student success at their colleges, and clarify their visions for excellent and equitable outcomes for students while in college and after they graduate.

 

"The leaders that come through the Rising Presidents Fellowship continually inspire us," said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. "We are motivated by the dedication and expertise that our fellows bring to advancing excellence and equity on their campuses, and we look forward to supporting their work."

"Dr. Heinrich is an effective leader who, in her work to oversee the academic divisions and student services and development division at ECC, cultivates a solution-oriented mindset consisting of compromise and consensus-building," said ECC President David Sam PhD, JD, LLM. "Under her tenure, ECC has made tremendous progress in innovative programming for adult learners, increased technical education pathways that now serve hundreds of students, and in our work of assessing student learning through an equity lens. It's my honor to support her participation in this prestigious program."

Rising Presidents Fellows aspire to enter a college presidency within five years of completing the fellowship. As fellows, they join a network of over 300 forward-thinking peers -- 122 of whom are sitting college presidents -- who are applying grounded and innovative strategies to meet student success challenges in their colleges.

The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship is made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, Joyce Foundation, and JPMorgan Chase.

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For bios and photos of all 31 leaders, visit highered.aspeninstitute.org/meet-the-rising-presidents-fellows.

The Aspen Institute recognizes ECC as one of the top 150 community colleges in the United States and, in 2022, was named among the top 25 colleges nationwide. ECC is an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction, noted for its continued strategic focus and progress in reducing equity gaps and increasing overall student success metrics. ECC is also a designated Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education and a Military Friendly® School.

Elgin Community College (ECC), located halfway between Chicago and Rockford, Ill., is a comprehensive, fully accredited public community college, one of 48 statewide. ECC serves approximately 11,000 students each year. Programs of study include 25 major fields for university transfer, more than 130 career-oriented occupational degrees and certificates, corporate and continuing education, and a full complement of pre-collegiate courses. The three-year graduation rate exceeds the national average and the average of peer colleges.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program supports colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy. We know it takes visionary college leaders to achieve this higher standard and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes. For more information, visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative (SELI) advances the critical cause of diversity, equity and inclusion in learning science and postsecondary education leadership. SELI's research practice partnership with the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has enabled faculty from the Stanford Graduate Schools of Education, Business and Engineering to host and prepare 200 Aspen Presidential Fellows to lead U.S. community colleges for student success in graduation and preparation for workforce advancement. For more information, visit seli.stanford.edu.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. Learn more at www.aspeninstitute.org.

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