This year has been full of special honors for West Los Angeles College. The community college in Culver City was named to the Aspen Institute Top 150 list of community colleges. President Barak Obama once described the Aspen Prize as “basically the Oscars for great community colleges.” This was followed by the college being granted permission to offer a second Bachelor’s degree. WLAC now offers Bachelor’s degrees in Dental Hygiene and Avionics, making it quite unique amongst its peers. This week, they were again honored by the prestigious Aspen Institute with an announcement that WLAC President James M. Limbaugh was selected to be part of the inaugural class of The Aspen Presidents Fellowship. This program, made possible with support from JPMorgan Chase, focuses on developing a sustainable and comprehensive reform agenda that advances excellence and equity in student outcomes at scale.
This class of fellows represents the diversity of our nation’s community colleges. They lead institutions across 14 states that collectively educate over 280,000 students in incredibly varied settings, from a rural college of 700 students to an urban one with enrollment over 24,000. The incoming class of Presidents Fellows is 56 percent women and 44 percent people of color.
Selected through a competitive process, the fellows will, over 12 months, work closely with a faculty of leading community college presidents and senior staff from the Aspen Institute. They will learn about and compare their practices to those of field-leading colleges; analyze their students’ graduation and post-graduation outcomes, and advance their priority reforms aimed at delivering excellent and equitable student outcomes.
“I’m privileged to be a member of the inaugural cohort of the Aspen Institute’s Presidents Fellowship as West builds on its Aspen Top 150 designation and continues our focus on equity and student success,” said Dr. Limbaugh.
Michelle Long Coffee