NYCLA Receives Funding from American Express to Expand its Nationally Recognized Aspiring Principals Program

October 2, 2015

NYCLA is thrilled to announce that American Express has provided significant funding to expand our Aspiring Principals Program (APP) to serve multiple districts in and around the New York tristate area. American Express worked with the National Association of School Principals to select the five recipients for its Principals Path to Leadership grant of which NYCLA is a part.

NYCLA’s APP will provide rigorous preparation and support for 50 assistant principals and other aspiring leaders in school districts that need to grow leadership talent to help improve low-performing schools. It will also support smaller districts with underserved populations that face difficulties developing their own “principal pipeline” initiatives due to size, geographic location, and other constraints. We will bring together aspiring leaders from these different districts to form one cohort of learners each year and district thought partners. 

This program is an expansion of our nationally-recognized APP model. Originating in New York City and graduating 525 principals to date, APP has since been fully adapted in Arizona, Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, Ohio and Minnesota, and components of the program have been adapted by over 20 additional clients nationally.

Irma Zardoya, NYCLA President & CEO, recently participated in the announcement event where she and her fellow grant recipients – including representatives from the Alabama State Department of Education, Arlington (TX) Independent School District, Learning Forward, and the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association -- shared details on their programs. Their comments were framed by a discussion about the importance of principals in fostering teacher effectiveness and student achievement, a core belief that drives our work.

Notes Zardoya, “We are grateful that the American Express Foundation – in partnership with the National Association for Secondary School Principals – has chosen to invest in our program.  APP prepares the type of public school leaders who are needed most – those who are committed to social justice and have the skills to galvanize communities to address issues of educational equity.”

This program will be adapted from our nationally-recognized, flagship NYC Aspiring Principals Program. Its two interconnected components are: a multi-week summer intensive that engages participants in comprehensive simulation-based learning grounded in authentic school experiences; and a 10-month school-based residency which follows the intensive and occurs in their district.  The residency will include an in-school leadership experience facilitated by a trained mentor principal, as well as ongoing online and face-to-face facilitated learning. The online component will leverage NYCLA’s new Virtual Learning Platform. Following placement in a leadership position, participants can receive optional coaching.

Participating districts will benefit from the development of highly-qualified aspiring school leaders ready to lead schools, as well as increased capacity of current school leaders who serve as mentor principals.  In-district mentors foster the leadership growth of their mentees -- and of the adults in their schools more broadly. NYCLA’s APP offers multiple districts from across the NYS tristate region a cost-effective, accessible way to access high-quality, relevant leadership development for promising administrators. NYCLA is currently recruiting school districts in the NY tristate area to participate in the 2016-17 cohort of this groundbreaking initiative. Contact us for more information.