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2013 Leadership Academy Alumna Returns as Faculty in 2017

Registration is now open for AACTE’s Leadership Academy, June 25-29 in Providence, Rhode Island. One of this year’s faculty members is René Roselle, who attended as a participant just 4 years ago. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

In spring 2013, I was given the opportunity to become associate director of teacher education at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. Having been a faculty member for 8 years, I felt ready to expand my knowledge of the university and school by serving in new way. We had hired a new executive director of teacher education, and the role of associate director was newly created to support the director. Although I was familiar with the setting, having been a faculty member and doctoral student at UConn since 2001, I had no real preparation for the new role – until a colleague recommended the AACTE Leadership Academy.

While the primary audience for AACTE’s academy seemed to be deans and department chairs, my colleague assured me I would find value in the curriculum, discussions, and networking that would apply to an associate director role as well. With the support of my administration, I enrolled.

Participating in the AACTE Leadership Academy the summer before my administrative role began turned out to be incredibly valuable. The conversations and content I engaged with that week gave me great perspective into myself as a leader as well as the variety of administrative roles I would be working alongside at my home institution. The academy faculty and my fellow participants alerted me to the responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities for leadership at different levels in higher education. It gave me a peek into what I might experience in a new position such as managing conflict, executing a vision, or promoting my unit.

Throughout the weeklong event, a variety of exercises enabled us to contextualize and apply the content to our individual settings. I met many people who had previously served in associate director or director positions who provided helpful insights into my new role. Not only did I feel more prepared for my administrative assignment, but I was more prepared – with a supportive new network of colleagues from around the country.

It is a rare luxury for administrators to be able to contemplate and discuss topics such as the type of leaders we want to be or what our vision for our unit might be. AACTE’s Leadership Academy gave us time to think, talk, and develop ideas we could take back with a greater confidence and sense of self than I would have had otherwise.

This summer, I am humbled and honored to be returning to the Leadership Academy as a faculty member. I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned and experiencing the energy, ideas, and new connections that academy participants always bring.

René Roselle is associate director of teacher education at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education as well as an associate clinical professor in the department of curriculum and instruction.

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Rene Roselle

University of Connecticut, Neag School of Education