Dr. Tina King, Southwestern College’s assistant superintendent/vice president for student affairs, is one of 40 educators selected for the 2021-2022 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship.
In a formal announcement Thursday, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named those participating in the 10-month program that prepares the next generation of community college presidents dedicated to making systemic changes for equitable education.
“This is one of the biggest accomplishments of my professional career,” King said, adding that she was among many applicants. “It is such an honor to participate in this prestigious leadership program.”
King joined Southwestern College in August 2019, to serve as the interim assistant superintendent/vice president for student affairs. She earned the permanent position in September.
The fellows come from throughout the United States and they will be mentored by expert current and former community college presidents who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers. The fellowship is delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, and will bring together the fellows four times for in-person training. The remainder of the mentorship and training will be held online. It is an estimated $80,000 investment in each fellow.
“We congratulate Dr. King for this amazing opportunity to participate in a world-class leadership program,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Mark Sanchez. “As an Aspen Rising Presidents fellow, Dr. King will be mentored by some of higher education’s most esteemed leaders and bring back more success strategies for our students.”
King, who has extensive background in community college student services, said she is excited to learn more about developing education policy, working with governing boards, and fundraising.
“I am wholeheartedly committed to the Fellowship’s goal of developing transformational leaders,” King said. “I want to learn as much as I can about how to create and sustain institutional cultures where student equity, student success and anti-racism are values that are transparently embraced at every level of the organization. I also hope to become effective in advancing policy in public education.”
As important, King said, is to bring those strategies to Southwestern College.
The purpose of the Aspen Rising President’s Fellowship is to mentor up-and-coming educational leaders, especially leaders of color, said Monica Clark, director of leadership initiatives at the College Excellence Program.
“To become institutions that truly advance social mobility and talent development, community colleges must have presidents with a clear vision for equitable student success,” Clark said.
King has worked in all sectors of public education, beginning as a teacher in the Compton Unified School District. Before joining Southwestern, she was the dean of instruction and student services at North Orange Continuing Education, where she served as the chief instructional and student services officer.