Dr. Cedric Bradley, vice president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Harrison County Campus, is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2021-22 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. The highly selective leadership fellowship is part of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program that prepares the next generation of community college presidents.
Bradley was the only individual chosen from Mississippi.
“I am humbled by the honor of being named to the distinguished Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship,” Bradley said. “I look forward to working with other community college leaders as we explore new and innovative ways to expand access to higher education and enhance student success.”
Bradley graduated from Meridian Community College in 2002 and received degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State University. He began working at MGCCC in 2014 as dean of Teaching and Learning at the Jackson County Campus and became vice president of the Harrison County Campus, Keesler Center and Naval Construction Battalion Center in 2018.
The Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on the 10-month fellowship beginning in November 2021. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will be mentored by esteemed current and former community college presidents who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers and will learn strategies to improve student outcomes in and after college, lead internal change, and create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, employers, and other partners.
“To become institutions that truly advance social mobility and talent development, community colleges must have presidents with a clear vision for equitable student success,” said Monica Clark, director of Leadership Initiatives at the College Excellence Program. “We have selected these fellows because they share that commitment and are well-positioned to become transformational leaders.”
The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents are expected to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has often excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows comprises 68 percent women and 70 percent people of color and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations.
“Dr. Bradley is a strong, visionary leader who provides outstanding guidance to both employees and students at Gulf Coast,” said Dr. Mary S. Graham, MGCCC president. “His desire to help students find success along with his innovative and well-planned strategies for improving his campus and centers make him the perfect candidate for this opportunity. I know he will continue to achieve great things at Gulf Coast and in all his future endeavors.”