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Queens joins Alliance to Reform Educational Leadership

11/02/12 -  

The George W. Bush Institute has named Queens as one of nine new principal preparation sites of the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL), a network of innovative principal preparation programs around the country that are changing the way school leaders are recruited, selected, trained, evaluated and empowered.

"The principal's job has changed.  So why should principal preparation remain the same?  At Queens, we think the answer is that it should not be the same," says Cheryl Pulliam, Director of School Executive Leadership Academy (SELA) at Queens. "In fact, principals are now even called school executives.  SELA is an innovative 14-month program designed to prepare the type of executive leader needed in today's schools by giving them the skills and knowledge necessary to lead the necessary changes.  Being part of AREL enables us to stay abreast of the best practices in school leadership preparation throughout the nation."

Developed specifically for aspiring school principals, SELA is a partnership between Queens' McColl School of Business and the Cato School of Education as well as Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and surrounding districts.  Unlike many 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.   The SELA program, approved by the NC State Board of Education, welcomed its first cohort this summer.

Through AREL's broad alliance of innovative principal preparation programs, the Bush Institute is working to redefine the role of America's school leaders. AREL convenes a results-oriented principal preparation program network, spotlights effective principals and the district and state conditions that allow principals to be successful, and inspires stakeholders to support school leadership that makes a difference in a child's education.

"We all know student learning is determined by the effectiveness of teachers, but one good teacher's impact can fade if students don't benefit from effective teachers in subsequent years," said Dr. Kerri Briggs, Program Director for Education Reform at the Bush Institute. "Our nation's 90,000 principals are the critical element required to maintain that learning momentum, so it is our duty to make sure that every school has an effective leader."

In today's public schools, the principal role plays a critical role in advancing student achievement. They must set the vision and create a culture of success on campus, oversee all human capital aspects including the hiring, developing and releasing of teachers and set the expectations necessary to improve achievement for nearly 50 million students attending public school every day.

About Queens:

Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed, Presbyterian-affiliated comprehensive university with a commitment to both liberal arts and professional studies.  Located in the heart of historic Charlotte, Queens serves approximately 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students through its College of Arts and Sciences, the McColl School of Business, the Wayland H. Cato, Jr. School of Education, the James L. Knight School of Communication, Hayworth College for Adult Studies and the Andrew Blair College of Health which features the Presbyterian School of Nursing.

About AREL:

Announced by Mrs. Laura Bush in September 2010, AREL focuses on enhancing and empowering the performance of America's school principals as a means to impact student achievement. As the first initiative of the George W. Bush Institute, AREL is one of five major efforts within the Bush Institute's Education Reform area. Sustained by its national and local partners and supporters, AREL connects principal preparation programs that are committed to the research and effective practices known to make a difference in the development of great leaders. The Alliance builds on the important work of the Rainwater Leadership Alliance, and the Wallace, Kern, and Eli & Edythe Broad Foundations who thought about the leadership challenges facing our schools and developed best practices for leadership preparation. In building AREL, every partner commits to work toward, and challenge, these best practices, thus ensuring an increase in the number of people successfully leading schools and helping more students achieve.  There are now 28 AREL Network sites spanning 15 states and the District of Columbia.

About the George W. Bush Institute:

The George W. Bush Institute advances freedom through education reform, global health, human freedom and economic growth. In all its programming, the Institute integrates initiatives that empower women and military service personnel. The Bush Institute is the policy arm of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which includes the Presidential library, located on the campus of SMU in Dallas. For more information, visit the Bush Center, Facebook ( and Twitter ( 

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