Applications Open for 2021-2022 District Leadership Fellows

“If there’s any leaders out there who are looking for something to take their leadership to the next level or to really refine their practices, this is an amazing program that they will get so much more than just a technical knowledge out of.” Khechara Bradford, Deputy Superintendent of Learning, Providence Public Schools, Rhode Island

Applications are open for the 2021-2022 cohort of the District Leadership Fellows, a virtual, strengths-based leadership development program run by the Institute for Leadership Impact at Southern Methodist University. Established and emerging district leaders who are collaborative, motivated to create change, and who have a strong desire for personal leadership growth are invited to apply.  Nominations for the program are also open.  Join us to:  

  • Engage with SMU faculty and education experts  
  • Better align your work with your personal mission   
  • Participate in a dynamic learning environment with a diverse cohort of peers 
  • Network and collaborate with a custom-selected peer group  
  • Use evidence-based assessment and coaching to enhance your leadership skills  
  • Access the latest learning science and gain tools to become a more effective leader 
  • Apply your learning to a real-world challenge within your district 

Leading During a Pandemic 

During the COVID-19 crisis, the peer community and team-based format of District Leadership Fellows has helped participants overcome challenges associated with the pandemic. Here’s what some Fellows said: 

  • “District Leadership Fellows saved me this year in so many ways. I felt like I wasn’t alone.” 
  • “It’s almost like there’s a weight that’s lifted off your shoulders because you’re able to be heard and you’re able to listen to really smart people who are grappling with the same issues.”  
  • “I think it’s nice to know we’re all in the same boat. We all have similar struggles we’re working through in our districts, not only in COVID but just in general. These activities help to keep us focused and accountable.” 
Fellows, facilitators and assistants checking in during a cohort meeting.
Fellows, facilitators and assistants checking in during a cohort meeting.

Program Timeline:

     February, 2021 – Applications open

     March 31, 2021 – Priority applications due

     April and May, 2021 – Rolling admissions

     June 30, 2021 – Applications close

     Summer, 2021 – Strengths assessment

     September 2021 to May 2022 – Cohort and peer group virtual meetings

Eligibility: Superintendents and executive district leaders who report directly to superintendents are invited to apply.

Program Fee: $795

Applications and nominations: Interested in joining the cohort?  Complete your application here.  Know someone who would be a great fit for the program?  Nominate them here.

More information: Download the flyer, visit the Institute for Leadership Impact website, email Christine Ferguson at, or call 214-768-1073.

To learn more about Institute for Leadership Impact programs, visit our website, email us at, and engage with us on Twitter.

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