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Matthew Wales

Vice President, Member Services & Events

Explore Leading in Difficult Times during AACTE’s 2020 Leadership Academy Series

2020 Leadership Academy

For much of 2020, COVID-19 has forced AACTE and its members to “think outside the box” and reimagine programming.  Just last week, AACTE conducted its inaugural virtual event, with educators coming together to receive advocacy training and learn effective techniques for effectively engaging with political leaders.  And in keeping with innovating its professional development opportunities during the current pandemic, the association is pleased to announce the 2020 AACTE Leadership Academy Series.

In lieu of the traditional, in-person, four-day training, this years’ experience will offer a series of interactive sessions for attendees.  The six-session experience will take place in two parts, with three sessions to be offered this fall, and the other three sessions to be offered during the 2021 Annual Meeting.  Under the theme of “Leading During Difficult Times,” the three fall sessions will explore content in the following areas:

October 14 – Addressing Issues in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

October 27 – Collaborative Decision-Making During Crisis

November 10 – Re-Thinking Field Experience

The Top 5 Tips to Writing a Successful AACTE Annual Meeting Proposal

Top TipsThe reviews are in, and AACTE’s 2020 Annual Meeting was its most successful and engaging learning opportunity yet! Under the theme “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change,” attendees explored and developed methods and strategies to infuse equity and inclusivity into preparation and practice. And looking to the 2021 Annual Meeting, attendees will continue to revolutionize the profession by “Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Actions.”

Want to feature your work during AACTE’s 2021 Annual Meeting in Seattle? Each year, AACTE receives many more proposals for consideration than can be accommodated, and only the “best of the best” content makes its way into the programming for the conference. So take note, because you will want to follow these tips to submit a competitive proposal:

Call for Peer Reviewers: 2021 Annual Meeting Proposals

Call for Reviewers

The AACTE Annual Meeting is the premier educator preparation conference in the nation. Each year, the conference provides a forum for educators to engage in meaningful discussions, share research and practices, and become better equipped to drive change in the educator preparation field. And with the 2021 Annual Meeting theme of “Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Actions,” the profession will continues its 2020 mission to join together in a united effort to disrupt inequities while educating for inclusion and change.

Peer Reviewers serve an important role in ensuring that exemplary learning opportunities are selected from the proposals submitted.  Since the Annual Meeting offers attendees a wide breadth and depth of content and learning experiences, peer reviewers from a background of areas from within the educator preparation field are essential.  AACTE encourages you to shape the focus of the 2021 Annual Meeting by volunteering to serve as a peer reviewer.

 Timeline for a Reviewer Application

  • Applications are due by Wednesday, May 13 at 11:59 p.m. PT
  • Approved applicants will be notified on or before Friday, June 5 at 11:59 p.m. PT

Call for Proposals, Reviewers for 2021 AACTE Annual Meeting

“Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Actions”

Now through May 27, AACTE is accepting session proposals for the 73rd Annual Meeting, to be held in Seattle, WA, February 26 – 28, 2021. We also invite applications by May 13 for AACTE member faculty to review proposals.

The conference theme is “Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Actions,” conceptualized as follows in the call for proposals:

Collectively, we are losing traction in our democracy and experiencing reversals in the civil and human rights that leaders such as Cesar Chavez, Delores Huerta, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harvey Milk all fought to advance. Children are being educated in an environment fraught with violence on our school campuses and in our communities. They are assaulted by guns, words, and legislation that create an unsafe, hateful, and fearful climate. We are living in a time when children are taken from their families, retained in deplorable circumstances, and denied access to basic needs and education. The term “all” seems to only mean some, and people who speak out against these injustices are attacked by words and actions.

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.

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