Skip to Main Content
23.01.30 amy holcombe high point university
Dr. Amy Holcombe
Dean of the Stout School of Education
Directors of the Grant Programs
Directors of the Grant Programs
23.03.20 melissa glover headshot high point university small
Dr. Melissa Glover
Director of HPULA
23.03.29 darcy kemp headshot high point university
Dr. Darcy Kemp
Director of ASCEND
23.02.06 tracey simpson gardener stout high point university 4
Dr. Tracey Simpson-Gardner
Directory of PREPARE+

The Current Grant Programs

The Stout School of Education engages funders at the local, state and federal levels in support of degree and licensure attainment for teachers, principals and superintendent. In total, the SSOE has received over $30 million in grant funding to support programs such as PREPARE, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree that yields initial teacher licensure, HPU Leadership Academy, a Master of Education degree that results in the completion of a principal license, and ASCEND, an Education Doctorate degree that can also include licensure at the superintendent level. Support from these grants enables HPU to significantly impact education in the state of North Carolina by developing highly effective educators with the capacity to transform schools.


The ASCEND (Advancing SChool Leaders through Executive Coaching, Networking and Development) program at High Point University, Stout School of Education is funded by a $10.4 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education.


Through our partnership with Piedmont Triad Education Consortium (PTEC) the ASCEND Program serves annual cohorts of 50 novice school leaders (school administrators & central office administrators) in 18 public school districts in the North Carolina Piedmont Region.  These districts represent a combination of high-poverty urban, city, suburban, and rural locales all having multiple high-need schools.


ASCEND program links with the Governor’s NC DRIVE (Developing a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education) Task Force recommendations by offering affordable postsecondary access, expanding, and developing entry points, embedding diversity goals, strengthening support networks for educators of color, and providing professional development that fosters inclusive school environments.


ASCEND’s school leaders receive a Graduate Certificate (4 graduate classes), Executive Coaching, Job-alike Mentor, and Networking opportunities, for each cohort.  Networking and sharing of best practices occurs during course work, ASCEND Leadership Institute, NC Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NCASCD) Conference and a personalized professional conference.

Cohort I at NCASCD Conference

Directors of HPULA
23.03.20 melissa glover headshot high point university small
Melissa Glover
Director of HPULA

Phone Number: +1 (336) 841-9387


23.03.21 Barbara zwadyk high point university small
Barbara Zwadyk
Director of HPULA

Phone Number: +1 (336) 841-9203



Program Overview

The Leadership Academy will work collaboratively with its partnering districts (Alamance Burlington, Guilford, Union, Vance, Winston Salem/Forsyth, and Yadkin) to prepare a diverse group of high-performing teachers for leadership placement in a high-need school within their district. The Academy will build upon classroom experiences giving residents deep theoretical and practical knowledge on effective instructional strategies with a focus on instructional leadership, organizational development, and change management to prepare candidates with

the capacity to provide transformational leadership. The top selected candidates from each partnering district will participate in an on-site assessment process. Candidates will complete one year of coursework while continuing to serve in their current capacity within their school or district. The full-time residency, where candidates will participate in experiential learning and seminars with HPU faculty and practitioners, will occur during the second year of the program. Executive coaches will be assigned to all candidates and provide support throughout the entirety of the program. Grant funds are in place to support program completion and textbook costs will be covered for candidates. After graduation from the program, principal candidates will return to their home districts where they will serve as a school leader in a high-need school.

View Cohort VIII’s Program of study View Previous Cohorts

simplified tree purple 1 1024x1024
This program has fully prepared me for my role as an administrator. We received exceptional training through guest speakers and professional development. The one-on-one coaching was top-tier. The coaching didn’t end with the program, it still continues today.
Zsaquia Green
M.Ed. Cohort VI HPULA
simplified tree purple 1 1024x1024
Attending the High Point University Leadership Academy has been significantly impactful in my educational journey. The exceptional executive coaches, professors, seminars, and training have expanded my professional capacity like no other.
Avery Steele
M.Ed. Cohort VI HPULA


The PREPARE+ Teacher Residency Program is a partnership between High Point University, North Carolina A&T State University and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. This partnership was formed out of the necessity to recruit and retain highly effective, diverse teachers who have the desire to teach in high-need areas and schools. Teacher residents will have the opportunity to complete a MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) in Elementary Education with a literacy concentration from High Point University or a MAT in Math Education (9-12) or Special Education (K-12) from North Carolina A&T State University.

The residency program is designed to facilitate peer mentoring, networking and professional collaboration. Residents will complete a program which consist of rigorous, graduate-level coursework and a full-time clinical residency which culminates in full licensure and a master’s degree.

Learn More about Prepare!