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What to Expect at AACTE Leadership Academy

Looking to begin, or even expand upon, your career as an educational leader? AACTE’s Leadership Academy is your opportunity to discover who you are as an academic administrator.   We asked a member of AACTE’s Academy Faculty, John Henning, to elaborate upon his experiences as a three-time attendee. Henning had this insight to offer, as well as advice for future Academy participants:

What year(s) did you attend the Academy, and what position were you in at the time?

I first attended the Academy as a newly-hired, outside department chair in 2009. I attended again in 2013, when I was promoted to Associate Dean. Finally, I attended a third time in 2015 when I began my dean’s position.

What made you want to attend the Academy?

The first time I attended in 2009 was both at the recommendation of my dean and because I thought it would be a great professional development opportunity. Since then, I have followed my dean’s example and encouraged my associate deans and chairs to attend the Leadership Academy. It is a great benefit, both for those who are engaging with it for the first time and those who are looking to expand their skill set.

The second time I attended in 2013, I wanted to experience the same benefits I received the first time I attended, while also exploring the role differences between chair and associate dean. My third time at the Academy in 2015, I wanted to start thinking like a dean by spending a week discussing issues at that level of leadership.

What was your biggest takeaway from your experience(s)?

My biggest takeaway from my first Academy was the valuable insight into the experience of being a leader. I learned how leaders think, what they value, and what they strive to accomplish. At my second Academy, I learned how leadership changes in different roles or at different levels. Simultaneously, I became more aware of the similarities among leadership positions regardless of role or level. By the time I completed my third Leadership Academy experience, I felt I understood the different levels of leadership in a college. I have found this to be very helpful when coaching or mentoring department chairs and associate deans.

What advice would you give to those interested in attending the 2019 Leadership Academy?

My recommendation for attendees would be to engage with the Academy faculty and the other leaders in attendance as much as possible. Because of those conversations, I always left the Leadership Academy with a list of ideas that I could immediately start implementing. Each time I attended, I found the Academy to be a great launching point for the upcoming year of leadership.

Don’t miss out on your chance to participate in this year’s AACTE Leadership Academy, June 23-27, in Pittsburgh, PA.  Be sure to take advantage of the discounted hotel rate when you register by May 31

Visit aacte.org for conference details, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #AACTELA19.


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Matthew Wales

Vice President, Membership, Events, and Special Projects

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