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Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program

The ACE Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program is designed to advance mid-level leaders from diverse backgrounds into senior leadership ranks of higher education.


This new ACE program is focused on attracting mid-level administrators from diverse backgrounds to increase diversity in the senior-level leadership ranks in higher education. The need for this purposeful programming is evidenced by their underrepresentation in senior leadership roles in higher education. 

This 2-day program is for mid-level administrators (typically department chairs, directors, and assistant/associate deans) with high potential for advancement in higher education administration.

The Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program will provide participants with the opportunity to assess their current competencies and receive advice on creating a professional development plan and enhance their leadership skills in critical areas to enhance their career trajectory. The interactive program provides mid-level leaders with the opportunity to:

  • Hone leadership skills in critical areas such as fundraising, risk management, crisis response, working with the media and shared governance and accountability
  • Strategic career mapping
  • Gain a better understanding of the inherent rewards and challenges of senior-level administrative positions, including the college or university presidency through exposure to outstanding leaders across higher education institutional types
  • Networking with leaders across the nation in support of diversifying the pipeline to senior leadership in higher education
  • Faculty includes presidents, senior leaders and participants from the Spectrum Executive Leadership Program
To receive an email notification for the next Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program, please complete the ACE Leadership Program Interest Form .



"As an African American female aspiring leader in higher education, I vacillated between the Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program and the ACE Regional Women’s Leadership Forum. I attended both convenings because of their appeal to both of my identities. I found these programs to be outstanding, as they provided a wealth of invaluable information about core areas of higher education administration and strategic ways to advance my career. The ACE Regional Women’s Leadership Forum provided germane information relevant to my identity as a female leader in higher education, and the Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program provided excellent information specific to my leadership aspirations as an underrepresented minority. Attending both of these leadership development programs was by far among the most impactful leadership development experiences I’ve ever experienced."

Sonja Feist-Price, D.Rh., Ph.D

Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Kentucky ACE Women’s Network in Higher Education;
Chair, Office of Faculty Advancement and Institutional Effectiveness, University of Kentucky


 Scholarships Available


These scholarships are to enable a select group of candidates from all sectors of higher education to participate in ACE’s signature leadership development programs. The Fidelity Investments scholarships are tied to ACE’s broader leadership development initiative designed to advance women and persons of color into the presidency and other leadership roles. Preference will be given to candidates from under- represented populations within higher education’s senior leadership ranks and to those candidates whose institutions lack the necessary resources to cover program attendance costs.

To inquire about available scholarship opportunities, please contact Deborah Ingram Allen at  


Program Related Content

Who Can Participate