Throughout the year, Fellows have the opportunity to deepen their learning and to practice key skills. Each course is developed to provide participants opportunities to practice aspects of leadership and receive critical feedback that will improve leader practice. Therefore, all course delivery uses a practice-based model: participants first receive information and instruction and then are required to demonstrate application with critical peer feedback.
Additionally, Fellows’ school-based work is grounded in reflection and feedback. We firmly believe that a leader’s ability to grow is based on self-awareness. As our Fellows work together to receive and share peer feedback about their practice, they develop their ability to think critically about their work and identify areas for improvement. Throughout the year, each Fellow participates in a Critical Friends Group (CFG), charged with the task of formally assessing each peer as part of the School Diagnosis and 360° Feedback Survey. Members of the CFGs also participate in informal school visits, providing feedback about each participant’s yearlong project.
Over the course of the fellowship year, Fellows will participate in:
-A 360° leadership assessment
-A school review
-A two-day overnight retreat
-A two‐week summer institute
-Monthly data-driven professional workshops
-Local and out-of-state school visits
Because the principalship is complex and requires school leaders to enact their learning, the programmatic experience thus focuses on “targeted practice.” As such, the fellowship begins with a personal 360 Leadership Assessment and School Review, which drive the program’s “Assessment & Contracting” phase. These two data sets are used to create the fellow’s Individual Development Plan (IDP).
In addition to the above, Fellows enrolled in the Aspiring Principal Program complete a year-long residency alongside a Mentor Principal. The school-based residency provides the aspiring principals authentic opportunities to practice key skills with feedback. The residency includes experiences such as leading professional development, leading and facilitating leadership team meetings, observing and providing teachers feedback, engaging key stakeholders and the community, and managing the daily operations of a school.