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 and creates a supportive network of fellows focused on improving the way their programs prepare future teachers. While other leadership programs focus 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 develop a concrete vision for program improvement that is grounded in our Building Blocks framework for effective program design. They also learn to effectively engage stakeholders in using evidence to improve outcomes and, building on insights from our Common Indicators System, learn to sustain improvement over time.

Impact Academy fellows Connect, Learn and Lead.

Connect with other leaders in educator preparation who are committed to consistently preparing effective beginning teachers.

Fellows convene for three in-person sessions: a four-day session in Austin, Texas, July 21-24, 2020; a one-day session in Winter 2021; and a one-day session in July 2021. 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.

Learn to be more effective in catalyzing improvement in their teacher preparation programs.

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

Story of Self: Who am I and what do I value?  How do others perceive me? What is 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?

Lead collective improvement work in their own institutions

Over the course of the year, fellows take action in their own context and implement a plan to engage stakeholders. They also complete individual learning modules that apply the themes to their specific organizational contexts and receive ongoing leadership coaching from veteran deans.

Many Impact Academy fellows remain connected to Deans for Impact and other fellows long after their fellowship year. Through their work as members of Deans for Impact or participation in one of our Impact Networks, they lead efforts to transform the field of educator preparation.

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 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 interest in your own growth and the growth of those you lead
  • You value 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 Valerie Sakimura at

Fee: $4,995, including all materials and breakfast, lunch, and receptions at in-person sessions. Scholarships are available for those who demonstrate significant financial need.


Learn More from Former Fellows

 As of 2019, our Impact Academy fellowship has welcomed four cohorts of fellows:


Get in Touch

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