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School Executive Leadership Academy

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The School Executive Leadership Academy (SELA) is a partnership of the McColl School of Business, the Cato School of Education and Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and surrounding districts, to accelerate the flow of qualified leaders for our schools. This program has been approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education. It is unique in several ways. It combines the expertise of the school of business in developing leaders with the school of education's and the school districts' expertise in education. Unlike traditional masters in school administration programs, the SELA curriculum will be highly experiential and relevant, placing participants in a variety of situations built around a simulated school, designed to replicate the real challenges a school principal faces. It will combine a rigorous selection process, an intensive summer cohort experience with the simulated school, and a residency year spent as a fulltime intern to a trained mentor principal. During the residency year and the first year on the job as a principal, we will continue to provide group and individual coaching sessions and classes to extend the support as the novice principal transitions into the job. Successful SELA participants can earn up to 18 credit hours that may apply toward a Master of Educational Leadership (online), Master of Business Administration, or Master of Science in Organization Development degree - all available at Queens University of Charlotte. 

For more information about SELA, please contact Alison Hiltz, Director of SELA. 

Key Features of the Program:

  • Experiential learning - case studies, role plays, simulations and other exercises mirroring situations faced as school executives and residency year filled with on the job school executive experiences 
  • A cohort experience - creation of a learning community and support network for participants during the program and throughout their careers
  • School administration license and graduate credit -eligibility to receive the NC school administration license and have waived Queens graduate credit hours towards a Master of School Administration, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Organization Development, or Master of Science in Executive Coaching degree
  • Highly selective admissions - 5 stages in competitive, rigorous recruitment and selection process: (1) Nomination by the district; (2) Application, transcripts and essays; (3) In-Depth Assessment Center with experiential exercises and trained assessors; (4) References and final selection; (5) Offer to join cohort
  • Coaching and support throughout -mentor principal support, small-group coaching during the residency year.

Program Structure and Sequence:

  • Late Winter/Early Spring: selection through a highly competitive process
  • 1st Summer: classes 5 days a week for 5 weeks
  • School Year: year-long residency in leadership roles and participation learning sessions 
  • 2nd Summer: preparation for leadership assignment 


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