DataPoints: Women CEOs at community colleges


Well over one-third (36.6%) of community college presidents are women. This is significantly higher than the 30% overall rate of women CEOs reported in the 2017 American College President Survey from the American Council on Education (ACE will be releasing new data next month).

Based on an analysis of the American Association of Community Colleges membership database, the percent of female CEOs at community colleges has remained relatively constant going from 36.5% in 2010 to the current rate of 36.6%. However, there are differences by type of institutions served. Women represented a smaller percentage of the CEOs in institutions with enrollment below 4,000 students, and they are more likely to serve in mid-sized colleges (enrollment between 4,000 and 15,000 students.) Between 2010 and 2022, the percentage of women CEOs increased the most for colleges between 4,000 and 6,000 students.

Women CEOs represent a greater percentage of CEOs in colleges of multi-college college districts while they are a small percentage of the CEOs at single-campus colleges. Between 2010 and 2022, women increased as a percentage of CEOs leading multi-college districts (going from 29.0% in 2010, to 38.7% in 2022), while decreasing slightly as CEOs of multi-campus colleges.

About the Author

Kent Phillippe
Kent Phillippe is vice president for research and student success at the American Association of Community Colleges. He is project director for the Equity Transfer Initiative.