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NECC VP Accepted into Prestigious Fellowship

May 20, 2019 GMT

William Heineman, Northern Essex Community College’s vice president of academic and student affairs, is one of 40 nationwide to be accepted into the fourth cohort of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.

This prestigious program admits only fellows believed to have the capacity to be an exceptional president with the drive and capacity to transform their institutions to empower more students to achieve success in community college, in four-year universities after transfer, and in the workplace.

This leadership initiative is designed to push the participants’ thinking, challenge convention, and confront the unique challenges that community colleges are facing today. As an Aspen Presidential Fellow, Heineman will be prepared to lead an institution to deliver more credentials of higher quality at a more affordable cost to an increasingly diverse population.


The Chelmsford resident will attend three residential sessions led by college leaders and experts where there will be time for self-reflection and individual and team problem solving and networking. He will experience leadership mentoring with a current or former community college president and will complete a capstone project that will capture his perspective on community college leadership and demonstrate his ability to lead transformational change as a community college president.

“I am honored to be selected as part of the fourth cohort of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence,” Heineman said. “The challenges facing the nation’s community colleges and their students are complex and require skilled leadership. I look forward to improving my own ability to advance our mission through this fellowship and learning from my talented peers.”

Heineman is a 23-year staff member at Northern Essex. He has served as a faculty member, department chair, program coordinator and dean of two divisions before taking on the role of vice president in 2011.

In his various roles at NECC, Heineman has been committed to student success and has fostered a holistic approach to the student experience. He was instrumental in creating the first Competency Based Education credential in the Massachusetts Public Higher Education System, An Open Educational Resource initiative that has saved students more than $1 million in course materials, and developed improved data to measure student progress among other things