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Queens Launches New Program to Serve School Principals

School Executive Leadership Academy (SELA) designed to accelerate the flow of qualified leaders to our schools

imageSELA Students and Faculty
07/31/12 -  

Queens University of Charlotte has launched an innovative new program designed to accelerate the flow of qualified leaders to our schools.

Developed specifically for aspiring school principals, the School Executive Leadership Academy (SELA) is a partnership between the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) of the McColl School of Business, the Cato School of Education, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and surrounding districts.

"SELA is unique in a variety of meaningful ways," said Linda Christopherson, director of the Executive Leadership Institute. "It combines the McColl School's expertise in developing leaders with the Cato School and the school districts' expertise in education."

The program, which was approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education, welcomed its first cohort this summer.

"If you don't want to be transformed or uncomfortable, SELA is not for you. I am not the same person I was five weeks ago," said Romain Bertrand, a participant who just completed the first phase of this 14-month program.

Unlike traditional Master in School Administration programs, the SELA curriculum is highly experiential and immediately relevant, placing participants in a variety of situations built around a simulated school, designed to replicate the real challenges a school principal faces.

According to SELA participant Christina Forney, "I really found the collaboration between the Cato and McColl school faculty to be a special and appealing part of the program. In addition, a lot of the other programs I looked at focused on theory, while the SELA curriculum really focuses on practice. Now I feel more comfortable leading in an executive manner. It's been a transformational period for me."

It combines a rigorous selection process, an intensive summer cohort experience, and a residency year spent as an intern to a trained mentor principal. During the residency year and the first year on the job as a principal, SELA will continue to provide group and individual coaching sessions and classes to extend needed support as novice principals transition into their jobs.

Successful SELA participants can earn up to 18 credit hours that may apply toward a Master in School Administration, a Master of Science in Organization Development or a Master of Business Administration degree. Or, they may earn six credit hours toward a Master of Science in Executive Coaching.

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