School of Education Awarded Grant to Prepare Rising Principals

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 11, 2016 – High Point University’s School of Education recently received a state grant, managed by the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development, of $833,000 for 2016-2017 and $893,000 for 2017-2018 to begin the High Point Leadership Academy in January 2017. The grant provides funding for the preparation and support of highly effective school principals in North Carolina and is funded to improve principal preparation programs.

As one of five organizations to receive the grant, HPU is launching the High Point University Leadership Academy, partnering with seven school districts to prepare 41 principal candidates over a two-year period. Candidates from Cabarrus, Guilford, Elkin, Mount Airy, Newton-Conover, Rutherford and Yadkin school districts will return to their home districts to transform their schools into learning environments that result in high performance for all students.

Those wishing to participate in the program will apply with the approval of their district’s superintendent and go through a one-day interview process. Accepted candidates for 2017 will begin their program in January 2017 while continuing to teach, and will participate in a full-time clinical internship July to December.

Candidates will participate in experiential learning and seminars with HPU faculty and practitioners. They’ll also learn from experiences provided through the Center for Creative Leadership, The BB&T Leadership Institute, Piedmont Triad Education Consortium and LEGO Education.

The grant will cover education costs and participants’ salaries for five months while candidates earn 21 graduate credits in Educational Leadership. They will also be eligible for the N.C. State Department’s School Administrator: Principal’s License and may choose to complete the remaining 15 hours to earn their M.Ed. after graduation from HPU’s Leadership Academy.

Dr. Mariann Tillery, dean of the School of Education and director of teacher education, and Dr. Barbara Zwadyk, associate professor of leadership studies at HPU, developed the proposal and presentation that earned the grant.

“This grant allows High Point University to take the best components of our current program, combine them with innovative, evidence-based practices, and through close collaboration with partnering districts and affiliates, prepare candidates to transform their schools,” says Zwadyk. “We also have the opportunity to impact future principal preparation programs across the nation. This is very exciting work.”

“Nationally, as well as in North Carolina, the traditional pipeline for developing school principals is drying up,” says Dr. Shirley Morrison, GCS chief human resources officer. “The goal of our partnership with High Point University is to identify potential principals earlier and then influence their preparation so they are better equipped to lead schools that more effectively meet the needs of our diverse students.”

“Cabarrus County Schools is excited about our partnership with High Point University, which will produce school-based administrators through an alternative licensure program,” said Glenda Jones, assistant superintendent at Cabarrus County Schools. “This collaborative effort will focus on creating school leaders utilizing real-world on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring from veteran educators, and a program of study through a university known for producing quality educators.”

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