University Partnerships

NYCLA partners with universities to help them infuse new practices into their school leader preparation programs and to ensure the relevance of their curriculum to the district contexts in which their graduates will lead. We work with our university clients to co-develop hands-on learning experiences that immerse future leaders in the day-to-day challenges and realities of running a school through simulations, standards-based assignments, field experiences, and mentorship opportunities. 

Our approach emphasizes situational problem-solving, teamwork, and ongoing self-reflection that enables educators to continue to build and refine their leadership practice. 

What We Do

NYCLA specializes in:

  • Facilitating partnerships between universities and districts to ensure coherence within the system
  • Building customized school leadership simulations that enable aspiring leaders to "live the work" by assuming the principalship in a simulated environment, making decisions and dealing with the consequences of those decisions
  • Developing behavior-based leadership standards aligned to local state and district standards that reflect what leaders need to know and be able to do to improve student outcomes
  • Designing standards-based individual and team assignments that allow students to practice leadership skills rather than simply demonstrating theoretical knowledge
  • Creating job-embedded learning experiences that leverage how adults learn and internalize knowledge
  • Helping to build the capacity of mentor principals to be effective thought partners for aspiring leaders

Past Work With Univerisities

  • We partnered with Arizona State University to develop iLead AZ, an alternative ceritification program that prepares aspiring principals to lead high-need schools statewide. Watch a video to learn more about this engagement.
  • We partnered with Queens University of Charlotte to develop curriculum for its School Executive Leadership Academy (SELA), an innovative program designed to equip leaders to lead change. The university sought NYCLA's assistance because it wished to pattern SELA after successful programs with a track record of school transformation.
  • We worked with North Carolina State University, which runs the Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA), a 2-year principal preparation program serving eastern North Carolina districts. We introduced faculty and program staff to our approach to developing a simulation school, which the university planned to use during NELA's year one curriculum.
  • We are currently working with Youngstown State University (YSU) in Ohio in support of the university's efforts to strengthen the leadership skills of aspiring and sitting school leaders in the Youngstown City School District (YCSD). 

Contact us for more information about partnering to strengthen university programs.

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