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Get a Sneak Peek into AACTE’s 2021 Virtual Leadership Academy

AACTE is excited to announce its virtual Leadership Academy Series will be offered again this year as three sessions spread across August and October 2021 and January 2022. Designed for education leaders navigating the challenges of the current global environment, the series will augment your leadership skills during these unprecedented times. In a special introductory course, you can get a sneak peek into this year’s Academy Series.

Continuing the Discussion: An Update from AACTE’s 2020 Leadership Academy Series

2020 Leadership Academy

Themed Leadership During Difficult Times, AACTE’s first session of the 2020 Leadership Academy Series, held on October 14, explored how three institutions have risen to the challenge and taken strides to make lasting policy and programmatic changes related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. To continue the discussion, AACTE has provided panelist Lisa Norton, dean of the College of Education & Health Sciences at Touro University, California and one of the featured panelists, with some additional questions from session attendees. Here is what she had to say:

The Graduate School of Education at Touro University, California recently held a series of informative and courageous conversations regarding what it means for education to live diversity in 2020 and beyond. Can you share some of the insights related to accessibility for all PK-12 students in a remote learning environment?

Lisa NortonOur current Academic College Instructional Designer and Graduate School of Education faculty member, Dr. Michael Barbour, is internationally known for work on PK-12 remote learning and accessibility.  We are lucky to have him to help both our own campus and the local school districts with information related to creating an inclusive online environment.  We conducted a webinar series entitled Diversity Now, in which we addressed this and many other topics. We are now in discussions to help the school district with additional support for families. This support includes tutoring and mentoring children in two of the schools and possibly partnering on a large-scale grant effort through the state.

Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Through AACTE’s 2020 Leadership Academy Series

Monika Williams ShealeyEvery year, AACTE typically holds its Leadership Academy as an in-depth, face-to-face, hands-on training for those educators seeking to begin or enhance their roles in academic leadership.  Given the current Covid-19 pandemic, AACTE wanted to bring a portion of that experience to its membership, and thus the 2020 Leadership Academy Series was created. 

With the theme of Leadership During Difficult Times, the Leadership Academy Series explores topics that are more relevant than ever to our members.  The first session of the series, held on October 14, explored how three institutions have risen to the challenge and taken strides to make lasting policy and programmatic changes related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Monika Williams Shealey, senior vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at Rowan University, was one of three distinguished panelists. She recently took time to answer some additional questions from attendees. Here is what she had to say:

Learn How to Lead Change at AACTE’s Leadership Academy Series

2020 Leadership Academy
AACTE’s virtual 2020 Leadership Academy Series will be held in three sessions on October 14, October 27, and November 10. Themed “Leading During Difficult Times,” the sessions will feature best practices on diversity, equity, and inclusion in education; effective decision-making during crisis; and re-imagining field experiences and partnerships.
Here’s what attendees are looking forward to learning most during this year’s virtual Leadership Academy Series:
Jan Burcham“I am most looking forward to learning from others innovative ideas and perspectives about educator preparation during these difficult times. I believe this experience has pushed everyone to think differently about educator preparation, and we are learning and figuring out new, productive strategies that have the potential to permanently change how we prepare future educators. – Jan Burcham, Columbus State University 
Leah Nellis“I’m interested in learning about how best to continue forward movement and growth while also taking into consideration the heaviness that many are feeling from all the uncertainties and fears associated with the pandemic. – Leah Nellis, Indiana University Kokomo 
Amber L. Bechard, Ed.D.“I am excited to deepen my connection to AACTE through this series of workshops. The disparity in educational access has grown exponentially and conscientious leaders need to collaborate across institutions to develop creative and effective solutions that give our teacher candidates the tools they need to support all students equitably. I am confident this workshop will be an inspiration! – Amber L. Bechard, Ed.D., University of La Verne 
The Academy Series has sold out! Stay tuned for information on how you can access the presentations. Visit www.aacte.org for event details. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #AACTELA20.
Questions – Need Assistance?
Please contact us at events@aacte.org

Hone Your Decision-Making Skills During AACTE’s Leadership Academy Series


Are you having difficulties making decisions during a crisis? You are not alone. Academic leaders are in unchartered territory without models, blueprints, manuals, and maps to navigate the challenges facing educator preparation programs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Come discover how to make informed decisions in these challenging times during AACTE’s virtual 2020 Leadership Academy Series.

During the second session of the Academy series on October 27, attendees will engage in interactive, group discussions and learn effective decision-making strategies. You will hear from peer experts and colleagues about how to make critical decisions for advancing students and programs, dealing with difficult circumstances, staying connected, and building a team community in a virtual environment. Participants will address: 

  • How do you focus on the most critical decisions? 
  • What decisions are most urgent and important?  
  • Who should be involved?  
  • What values, voices, and vision should guide your decision-making?

This year’s Leadership Academy Series, themed “Leading During Difficult Times,” will occur in three sessions on October 14, October 27, and November 10. Join AACTE this fall at our reimagined virtual Academy to invest in your professional growth.

Seats are limited, and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so register now! Visit www.aacte.org for event details. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #AACTELA20.


‘Get Real’ about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion During AACTE’s Leadership Academy Series

Diversity Teenagers Friends Friendship Team Concept

Learn from top leaders in the field (and from your peers!) during AACTE’s virtual 2020 Leadership Academy Series, occurring in three sessions on October 14, October 27 and November 10. Engage in interactive discussions and strategic planning around issues facing your institutions during these challenging and unprecedented times. 

In the first installment of the series on October 14, attendees will participate in a town hall style session, in which practices from three institutions will be shared. Entitled “It’s Time to Get Real: Deliberate Action in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” participants will hear how these institutions have risen to the challenge and taken strides to make lasting change in their programs and policies. Each will contextualize the work they have undertaken; share successes, challenges, and lessons learned; and provide suggestions for how leaders in the ed prep community can engage in furthering this work.

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

Registration Now Open for Washington Week and Leadership Academy

AACTE takes the health and safety of our attendees and participants at our events seriously, so we have postponed our regularly scheduled summer events to later in the year. Washington Week will now take place September 8-11 and Leadership Academy is now scheduled for October 3-7.  We will take every precaution to create a safe environment while onsite. As this is an evolving situation, we will continue to monitor new developments concerning COVID-19 and will update the meeting status as needed.

Please note that due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the coronavirus, AACTE will not charge a cancellation fee if you decide to not attend an in-person event based on concerns around your health or travel.  Please continue to visit aacte.org for the latest information.

WASHINGTON WEEK:  September 8-11

2020 Washington Week

AACTE Adjusts Events in Response to COVID-19

AACTE Responds to COVID19

2020 Washington Week  2020 Leadership Academy



At AACTE, we continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation related to the spread of COVID-19. We understand that concerns for health, safety, and the impact on meeting attendance, among other issues, are affecting our members. 

Keeping this in mind, AACTE has made the decision to move its  June meetings to later in the year:

Washington Week will now take place September 8 – 11.  The location remains the same: Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.  Check aacte.org for the revised schedule of events. 

Leadership Academy has been rescheduled to October 3 – 8.  The location remains the same: Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel. Visit the aacte.org for the revised schedule of events. 

AACTE is committed to maintaining all appropriate sanitary, health, and safety measures, and encourages attendees to follow guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization

Please note that due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the coronavirus, AACTE will not charge a cancellation fee if you decide not to attend an in-person event based on concerns around your health or travel.

Education Leaders Sharpen Their Skills at AACTE Leadership Academy

2019 Leadership Academy participants conversing

More than 90 leaders from education programs across the country convened in Pittsburgh, PA. for AACTE’s 2019 Leadership Academy, June 23-27. Attendees shared their experiences on Twitter using #AACTELA19 and offered testimonials about their experience. Here’s what a few participants had to say:

“The AACTE Leadership Academy was a fantastic opportunity! The combination of the excellent instructors, event organization, and content contributed to an extremely worthwhile experience.  While I expected to learn more about leadership, I did not anticipate how important the other participants were going to be to the Academy. My network has significantly expanded as a result of the Leadership Academy, and my new colleagues (and friends) are a wealth of informa

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.”

Attend AACTE Academy in Pittsburgh this June

Connect with AACTE during the 2019 Leadership Academy at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, June 23-27. Conveniently located in downtown Pittsburgh in the Cultural District, the hotel is nestled on the riverfront, with many restaurants in walking distance. Discover why Pittsburgh was named the 2019 Food City of the Year when you make plans now to join us for this AACTE event!

During the Academy’s downtime, you can enjoy Pirates baseball at PNC Park (just across the bridge from the hotel), explore the Senator John Heinz History Center (which includes the original set pieces and exclusive artifacts from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”), and even experience the over 250 hands-on exhibits at the Carnegie Science Center. And as part of your Academy attendance, be sure to participate in our attendee outing to the Andy Warhol Museum as well. For a full list of Pittsburgh attractions and things to do, visit visitpittsburgh.com.

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.

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.


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