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Matthew Wales

Vice President, Membership, Events, and Special Projects

Collaborate with Colleagues at AACTE Leadership Academy


Academic leaders from across the country are preparing to gather in Pittsburgh, PA, for AACTE’s annual Leadership Academy. In one month, attendees will experience an interactive and engaging professional development opportunity designed to advance their leadership skills while exploring a wide range of topics. And even if you have attended in the past, you should consider returning this year, June 23-27, as the program has once again integrated new content into the curriculum (view the full schedule).

Academy faculty first redesigned the content of the popular “Managing Conflict” sessions in 2017 by incorporating avatars into the program. Faced with difficult conversations and topics likely to occur in an academic environment, groups of job-alike attendees collaborate to design effective responses to the scenarios proposed. Their conflict-response plans are tested in simulated encounters, as volunteers meet with avatars, who emulate the situations attendees are likely to face when they return to their institutions.

“This training was one of the most valuable I’ve participated in,” said an attendee from the 2018 Leadership Academy about their avatar experience. “It provided an opportunity to define my objectives, take notes, and reflect upon how I could communicate more clearly.”

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.

Five Tips to Help Your 2020 Annual Meeting Proposal Stand Out

AACTE received high praise for its sessions during the 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. Such acclaim can be contributed to one important element: the competitive nature of the Annual Meeting selection process. Each year, AACTE receives many more proposals for consideration than can be accommodated, so only the “best of the best” content makes its way into the programming for the conference. 

Want to see your work featured during AACTE’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Atlanta? Then take note, because you will want to prepare a proposal that stands out in our peer-review process. Follow these five tips, and you are likely to distinguish yourself from the rest:

  1. Mind the Details –Y our proposal will be evaluated based upon the 10 criteria and elements outlined in the Expectations for Presentations. Familiarize yourself with these prior to writing your proposal. And most importantly, do NOT include any information that identifies either the authors or the institutions in the written proposal.

  2. Be Succinct and Specific – Choose a title that clearly conveys your topic. Proposals selected for presentation tend to state their subject matter upfront in the title. Additionally, the majority of chosen proposals contain short, concise abstracts that highlight the main focus of the presentation.

Learn from Alumnus at AACTE Leadership Academy

AACTE’s Leadership Academy is the perfect professional development opportunity for you to discover who you are as a leader. Designed for new and aspiring deans, department chairs, and anyone looking to develop or enhance their skills as an academic administrator, the academy covers the essentials of leadership while helping attendees cultivate a supportive network of peers. Here’s what the newest member of AACTE’s Academy Faculty, John Kuykendall had to say about his experience, including being a previous Academy participant:

What do you feel is the most valuable reason for attending the Leadership Academy?

For new administrators, it is essential to know that you are not alone in your role. I consider it necessary to develop a support group around your new leadership position and to have colleagues to call upon for guidance and assistance. The sessions at AACTE’s Leadership Academy provided me with key awareness in the decision-making process and leadership practices and strategies. My experience with the Academy was essential in developing a confident start in my new role as a dean for a school of education.

Discover Who You Are as a Leader During AACTE’s Academy


Are you ready to take the next step in your academic career, but uncertain where to begin? Learn what it takes to be an effective and authentic administrator and advocate during AACTE’s Leadership Academy this summer. Register today for this premier educator preparation training in Pittsburgh, PA, June 23-27.

In just the first 24 hours of AACTE’s Leadership Academy, you will

  • Explore the concept of who you are as a leader.
  • Examine who it is you may lead, and how you effectively lead them.
  • Identify elements of leadership that are critical to your current or aspirational academic leadership position.
  • Practice the concepts learned in a unique, hands-on simulation that will put your newly-acquired skills to the test.

Call for Proposals, Reviewers for 2020 AACTE Annual Meeting “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change”

Now through May 29, AACTE is accepting session proposals for the 72nd Annual Meeting, to be held in Atlanta, GA, February 28 – March 1, 2020. We also invite applications by May 15 for AACTE member faculty to review proposals.

The conference theme is “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change,” conceptualized as follows in the call for proposals:

Over the last year, we have witnessed a rapidly changing society. These changes are driven by policy and policymakers with limited knowledge of best practices for working with dynamic and diverse school communities. In turn, this politically-motivated process has produced a grand narrative, while claiming to be colorblind and neutral, that tends to represent a small, privileged portion of the U.S. population.

Connect and Engage at the #AACT19 Conference Community Center

In just over a month from now, approximately 2,000 educator preparation scholars, practitioners, and strategic partners will meet in Louisville, KY for AACTE’s 71st Annual Meeting. Over the course of three days, more than 250 sessions will take place, with content designed to engage students, early career professionals, and seasoned experts alike. With so much content being presented, you will want to prepare your schedule in advance to maximize your time at the meeting. Be sure to visit the AACTE Event Planner, where you can search the Annual Meeting offerings by keywords, topics, conference strands, and other fields to locate sessions of interest and create a personalized itinerary.

One place you won’t want to miss is the Conference Community Center. Located on the second floor of the Omni Louisville, the center is not only the place for you to connect with colleagues in a dynamic, engaging environment, but is also where you can find the official Registration area for the Annual Meeting. Conveniently situated in the Second Floor Foyer, adjacent to many of AACTE’s Learning Labs, the center offers you a place to take a break and network, while also engaging with our Annual Meeting sponsors:

Experience Louisville at AACTE Annual Meeting

louisville-waterfront

The 2019 AACTE Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY, is packed full of professional development opportunities designed to expand your knowledge base and engage you in conversations with fellow attendees. But when the meeting is not in session, you will want to venture out and explore the sights that will both energize and inspire you, many of which are just steps away from the hub of the AACTE Annual Meeting.

Learning Lab Sessions will take place in both the Omni Louisville and the Louisville Marriott Downtown, with the Deeper Dives and General Sessions taking place at the brand new ballroom in the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC). AACTE has blocks of sleeping rooms in four hotels that are either connected to or just a short walk from the KICC:

Interact With Avatars, Develop Strategic Plans at AACTE Academy

In just a few weeks, new and aspiring academic leaders from across the country will gather in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for AACTE’s annual Leadership Academy. This popular professional development experience provides attendees the opportunity to advance their leadership skills while exploring a wide range of topics including garnering and allocating resources, promoting your unit and program, and managing your personal and professional time.

Even if you have attended AACTE’s Leadership Academy in the past, you might want to consider returning this year, June 24-28, as the program has implemented new, interactive content that will continue to develop your critical skills. (View the full schedule here.)

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