Find a supportive community to grow in at Impact Academy

I recently attended a webinar about seed starting. Experts described the conditions needed for seeds to germinate indoors during the winter: light, warmth, and a slight breeze to challenge the seedlings’ ascent and offer the resistance necessary to develop strength.

The conditions in which leaders grow are very similar, and we’ve cultivated them at Impact Academy, our yearlong fellowship for leaders of educator-preparation programs. Deans who join the fellowship are both supported and challenged, offered a welcoming community and a structured framework through which to tackle the big questions.

The questions that deans ask vary as much as each individual context:

Dr. Nancy Marchand-Martella of Purdue University entered the fellowship asking how to get her team on board with a new, modern vision for teacher-preparation.

Dr. Kathlene Campbell of the University of St. Thomas came wondering how to guide her team to embed considerations of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout coursework.

Dr. Trent Gould of The University of Southern Mississippi arrived asking how he could practice vulnerability, so that others on his team felt comfortable doing the same.

The questions vary, but the conditions for growth remain the same. Over the last seven years, we’ve worked with nearly 100 deans, carefully cultivating an environment that serves as “a place of refuge” from the outside world.

None of us can address the challenges facing education individually — for instance, the continuing struggle for justice, or the disruption from the pandemic. But we can come together, create space to collaborate, and sympathize and strategize with one another for a brief time.

We welcome you to apply for the 2022-23 fellowship, which will kick off in July. Please click here to apply.

Staci Bradbury

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