Change Leadership Services

Created March 2018 | Valid through December 2019

JFF is partnering with The Aspen Institute to help Student Success Centers develop transformational leaders in their states. The transformational change required of community colleges to effectively implement institution-wide change such as guided pathways reforms requires leaders—at every level of community college stakeholders, but especially in the CEO role—who have a deep commitment to and understanding of change leadership. The Centers are uniquely poised to help develop this vital leadership capacity across states. The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program is available to support Centers by offering resources, consulting, and direct technical assistance within two major strategy areas:

Align Hiring & Board Strategy to Student Success Goals
The Aspen Institute’s Student Success Hiring Tools and other board strategy services offer a variety of light-to-heavy touch ways to support Centers in helping boards and other institutional governance authorities within the state identify and support community college leaders who possess the change leadership skills and commitment required to effectively lead student success reforms.

Build Leadership Capacity Statewide
The Aspen Institute’s Student Success Leadership Curriculum offers a foundation for a wide range of professional development support offerings designed to help deepen the bench of committed and skilled leaders within institutions across the state, on topics including leading internal transformational change, building strong external partnerships, and leading for equity.

Key to Levels of Service

Level 1: Online Tools and Resources

such as research publications, policy briefs, recorded webinars, and virtual tools and templates

Level 2: Training, Convening, and Peer Learning

such as Network-wide workshops and webinars, group consultation with national providers, and leadership development opportunities

Level 3: Customized Services

such as state-specific coaching and consultation, institutes, and trainings customized for Centers based on readiness and need for deeper, individualized support

All Center executive directors have access to Aspen’s “Leading for Community College Excellence: Curricular Resources” online. Modules include: Defining Student Success, Defining Qualities of Transformational Leadership, and Improving Transfer at Scale.


In addition, Aspen will provide new tools and resources to support all Centers in planning state-wide leadership development strategy and activities. For example, this could include creating a sample agenda for state change leadership workshops.


Aspen will provide a series of group learning opportunities for the Network, including in-person trainings and workshops, group consultation, and/or webinars. For example, Aspen’s Workshop on Change Leadership at the January 2018 Seattle SSCN Meeting focused on exploring and deepening Centers’ understanding of strong student success-oriented leadership and provided exposure to Aspen’s related tools and resources. Centers will receive additional training and leadership development related to change leadership through Aspen’s participation in JFF’s semi-annual state policy meetings, SSC Network meetings, and other virtual and in-person meetings.


Virtual Consultation Time
Each Center may schedule two hours of virtual consultation with Aspen to discuss leadership strategy and opportunities to advance student success goals. Sample services include:

  • Consult on general leadership development needs in the state and the Center’s role in addressing them; receive orientation to Aspen resources.
  • Discuss professional development opportunities for a particular group or training.
  • Consult on opportunities for implementation of hiring tools.

On-Site Trainings or Leadership Development

Each Center may work with Aspen to design and execute one in-person training or leadership development session in their state that advances the Center’s goals around change leadership. These sessions may draw on Aspen’s existing curricular modules and hiring tools with limited customization, or may involve the design and delivery of some new content. Sample services include:  

  •        Conduct training on using Aspen resources (train-the-trainer).
  •        Customize and facilitate a full-day training for presidents and board members on aligning the work of boards to student success goals.
  •        Train board members on Aspen’s hiring tools and other Aspen resources.
  •        Create new curricular modules for use in programs for current and aspiring presidents and deliver in-person workshops using the materials.
  •        Tailor hiring materials for a state and support a CEO/chancellor search process.

Some Centers may be interested in additional support from Aspen that includes ongoing TA and multiple in-state engagements. This deeper level of support is not offered as part of JFF’s partnership, but your JFF state team is happy to facilitate conversations with Aspen directly to strategize for and design additional support.