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EPCC VP Smith Selected as an Aspen Presidential Fellow

Steve Smith, Vice President of Instruction and Workforce Education has been awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a highly selective leadership program aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders capable of transforming student success at community colleges across the U.S. The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington,  announced Thursday morning that Smith joins the 2017-2018 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows.

“Mr. Smith is an inspirational leader and dedicated role model to students, faculty and staff at El Paso Community College,” Dr. William Serrata, President said. “He understands the higher education needs of the border region, Texas and our nation and we are proud to have him participate in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.”

Smith and the 39 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a year-long fellowship in July 2017.

Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders, the program focuses on a new vision of leadership and aims to guide new and aspiring community college presidents to dramatically change student outcomes in four areas: learning, completion while in community college and of bachelor’s degrees after transfer, employment and earnings after graduation, and equitable access and success for underrepresented minority and low-income students.

“The Aspen Institute is widely known as doing outstanding work with community colleges at the national level,” Smith said. “I’m honored to participate and look forward to bringing best practices back to EPCC.”

Smith was selected through a rigorous process that considered his abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access. He has been Vice President of Instruction and Workforce Education since 2012, where he leads the daily instructional, workforce and continuing education operations of EPCC’s five campuses, two centers and nine Early College High Schools.

During his 27 years at the college, Smith has also served as a Dean of Math, Science, Career & Technical Education and was a faculty member in Computer Information Systems. In addition to his professional achievements, he has been recognized for his academic leadership and commitment nationally by receiving the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award in 2016. In 2015, he was the recipient of the Chief Academic Officer Emerging Leader Award by the National Council of Instructional Administrators.

“Vice President Smith’s passion for student success and creating a better quality of life for the residents of El Paso County is evident and motivating,” Serrata said.

The 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 24 states and 38 community colleges of varying sizes.

For more information, visit: http://as.pn/1ky.

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