The Center for Educational Leadership,
a collaborative venture between the Knox County Schools and the University of Tennessee
, has established a Leadership Academy that will prepare talented candidates to become outstanding new school principals through a full-time, intensive 15-month fellowship program.
tnership with The University of Tennessee is a key strategy to achieving our goal of 'Excellence for All Children
,'" said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Director of the Center for Educational Leadership. "We know that leadership matters in any organization, but in public education strong, effective leadership has a tremendous impact on our ability to successfully educate our children."
Knox County Schools and The Center for Educational Leadership will identify 10 to 12 talented aspiring principals for the program each year through a highly selective admissions process. The first cohort of students will begin in the summer of 2010.
Knox County Schools will pay the fellows -- many of whom will already be employees in the district -- a salary as they complete the principal training program.
"Candidates in the program will spend four days a week working in a school with an experienced and excellent mentor principal," McIntyre said. "The fifth day will be spent in coursework and seminars with professors and expert practitioners. We believe this model will provide the Knox County Schools with an established pipeline of well-prepared, instructionally focused school leaders for many years to come."
To complete the program, students will participate in a project that will integrate their learning across the many curricular areas of the Academy, and will include an electronic portfolio documenting the student's proficiency in school leadership, and a public presentation about the 18-month experience. Fellows will graduate from the program with a master's or education specialist degree and state principal license.
"We are fortunate to currently enjoy solid principal leadership in our school district, but this partnership will help us to become more deliberate about identifying and developing the next generation of effective school leaders in the Knox County Schools," McIntyre said. "Recognizing the incredible demands on today's school principals, The Leadership Academy will assist us in condensing and abbreviating the learning curve for aspiring school principals so that they can focus from day one on being an effective educational leader.