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Impact Academy Fellowship: Helping deans move from managing to leading

Deans for Impact

Category: Leadership

How can I move from managing my team to leading for transformational change?

You’re not the first dean to ask this question. In the seven years since we first launched Impact Academy, I’ve heard it asked dozens of times. Deans from R1 universities, private colleges, and HBCUs have asked it. It’s a common challenge: how do you create space to ask the big questions when there’s accreditation, performance reviews, and a pandemic to worry about?

Happily, many of these deans have found the Impact Academy fellowship to be the place to zoom out beyond the nitty gritty, daily problems to focus on big questions of equity and instructional improvement. Impact Academy serves as a sort of lab for educational leaders, bringing together deans from all walks of life and every type of institution to collaborate together. (If you’re interested in applying, 2022 applications are open now.)

The theory of change works like this. First, deans commit to creating space in the year for regular virtual convenings and coaching — that’s the first part, prioritizing the time. During those learning sessions, fellows explore four core themes:

These themes anchor the work for the year, as leaders explore the “why” behind what they do. As we wrestle with these questions together, you’ll come to a deeper understanding of how your actions directly impact equitable teacher education, and eventually, student outcomes. With that vision firmly in hand, we’ll dive into the “how,” considering leadership actions for bringing faculty and staff on board with this vision. We’ll discuss how to create opportunities for your faculty and staff to:

  • Observe and unpack teacher candidate instruction together, either in-person or by reviewing video.
  • Review meaningful evidence about teacher candidate knowledge and performance at regular intervals.
  • Improve the tasks and instructional materials provided to teacher candidates.
  • Collaborate with district partners in meaningful ways about the knowledge and performance of teacher candidates.

In short, you’ll learn to lead for instructional improvement with a dedicated group of peers equally committed to improving equity for future teachers and students. We’ll also pair you with an experienced mentor to coach you through the challenges that arise as you progress.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Below, you’ll hear two fellows explain in their own words how Impact Academy benefited them.

If you’re ready to embrace your own growth for the betterment of a generation of future educators and their students, we encourage you to apply to the Impact Academy fellowship today.