Meet the 2019 Fellows

We are proud to announce the cohort for the 2019 Impact Academy. The 19 fellows in this cohort hail from 12 states ranging from Alaska down to New Mexico, Mississippi up to Massachusetts, and collectively they prepare more than 7,600 teachers each year.

Meet Impact Academy Cohort 4.


Connect. Learn. Lead.

The Impact Academy is a year-long fellowship for leaders of educator-preparation programs. The program combines intensive in-person learning experiences with ongoing coaching and mentorship from veteran members of Deans for Impact, creating a supportive network of fellows focused on improving how their programs prepare future teachers. While other leadership programming focuses on nuts-and-bolts training for budgeting or accreditation, Impact Academy provides participants with the skills, knowledge, and strategies to solve complicated problems, and the foundation to lead transformative change.

Fellows learn how to develop a vision for program improvement that’s grounded in our Building Blocks framework for effective program design. Fellows further learn how to engage stakeholders in using evidence to improve outcomes, building on insights from DFI’s Common Indicators System effort on how to sustain improvement over time.

Impact Academy fellows Connect, Learn and Lead.


Fellows convene for three in-person sessions: a four-day session in July 2019, a one-day session in Winter 2020, and a one-day session in July 2020. During these working sessions, fellows analyze their teacher-preparation programs and their leadership together, engage in case-study discussions around common leadership challenges, and develop a plan to engage stakeholders in improvement work. Fellows will develop a network of peers committed to improving educator preparation, and have structured opportunities to connect with and support each other.


The Impact Academy fellowship – developed and facilitated in partnership with our member deans – is organized around four themes. These themes guide the learning experiences of fellows:

Story of Self: Who am I and what do I value?  How do others perceive me? What’s my role as leader?

Story of Us: Who are our partners in teacher preparation?  What values do we share? What kind of teachers do we want to prepare together?

Our Commitments:  Why is our work urgent? How do I energize and involve people to take action?

Evidence and Impact:  What impact do we want to have? How will we help others use information to improve?


Over the course of the year, fellows take action in their own context, implementing a plan to engage stakeholders in improvement work. Fellows also have opportunities to situate their learning in their context, by completing individual learning modules that apply the themes to their specific organizational contexts and receiving ongoing leadership coaching from members throughout the academic year.

Hear directly from a fellow and member dean facilitator about the benefits of Impact Academy.


Who Should Apply

Deans for Impact is committed to building a cohort that represents the diversity of this country’s institutions and educator preparation programs. At the Impact Academy, fellows work to foster an improvement mentality throughout their programs with a renewed focus on effectively preparing future teachers and hone the skills necessary to advance this vision. You should apply if the following describes you:

  • You are dean of a school of education or educator-preparation program
  • You have a strong orientation towards, and interest in, learning alongside others
  • You can commit to participating in all Impact Academy activities over the academic year

For more information about joining Impact Academy please contact Vice President of Program Valerie Sakimura at


Learn More from Former Fellows

As of 2018, our Impact Academy fellowship has welcomed three cohorts of fellows:

I’m leaving [the Impact Academy] a better person than when I entered.

Dr. Anthony Graham

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