WMU News

Leadership Academy program garners national honor

March 9, 1999

KALAMAZOO-- A program designed and coordinated by Western Michigan University to address a shortage of qualified school administrators in Michigan has won a national Conferences and Professional Programs "Exemplary Program Award" from the University Continuing Education Association.

The program also won a regional "Creative Program" award from UCEA.

The award-winning program, "The Leadership Academy for Future Educational Leaders," was selected based on its imaginative program design, unique and effective marketing, outstanding program management and quantifiable impact.

The program is a two and a half day academy for classroom teachers who are considering moving into school administration. Sponsored by the WMU Department of Educational Leadership and Region VII of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, the conference was held in March 1998 at the Fetzer Center and managed by WMU's Office of Professional Programs and Conferences. Thirty-one potential administrators participated. The program will be offered at WMU again March 24-26.

The program allows teachers to gain insights into challenges and rewards of educational leadership; examine leadership theory and its applications; observe, analyze, and participate in administrative activities; and network with school district and university personnel. In addition, participants complete an 80-hour internship at schools in their area and participate in a weekend simulation exercise that includes an exit interview and assessment.

Natalie Richert, the Professional Programs and Conferences program coordinator responsible for the Leadership Academy, has been invited to attend the annual conference of the University Continuing Education Association in Washington DC in April to accept the award. Dr. Van E. Cooley, associate professor of educational leadership, worked with the Michigan Association of School Administrators in creating the program.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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