Looking, Learning & Leading: On The Next Generation Leadership Academy (NGLA)

Matt Orourke Blog Catalytic Conversations

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ngla session lsc The goals for higher education today are already big, and growing. From deeper learning to increased relevance and employability to improved access, success, and equity outcomes for striving students, there are not many institutions, regions, states, or nations setting the education bar low. As policy, practice, tool and technology innovation against these outcomes continues, what is also growing is the need for continuing development of skill sets in educators—at all levels—to help lead education forward. Coming out of the Gates Foundation summer iPASS meeting, SCUP’s annual conference in Vancouver, Canada, and the recent US Department of Education’s White House/Georgetown convening on Reimagining Higher Education over the last month, it’s clearer than ever that we need educators who are willing and able to catalyze change in education if our drives to thoughtfully open education pathways are to be successful. Especially needed are educators who understand the complex interplays between desired outcomes—e.g., how does deeper learning connect with career outcomes and civic participation; educators who have been exposed to new ideas as well as important traditions; educators willing to take a fresh look at hard data regarding what’s working and what’s not; educators ready and able to engage the delicate dance between policy, practice, funding, systems and culture. learning groupIndeed, leading through this change will increasingly mean taking the time to look, learn, and lead. Leaders will need the willingness to look inside and outside of our institutions—even outside of our sectors—for innovations and ideas that can make a difference; to take the time to learn about history and tradition in education, how similar approaches have been tackled in the past, but also about new and innovative ways of approaching continuing and emerging challenges; and to dive deep into data and learn about what’s working and what’s not inside and outside of a given institutional context, with a special eye to programs and services that can best serve a unique student body being engaged in a specific institution. Most of all, next-generation leaders will need the ability to lead inclusively and effectively as these tools, techniques, policies, and programs take shape—i.e., they need to help bring it all together. We developed the Next Generation Leadership Academy (NGLA) to help our partners to build out the skill sets of looking, learning, and leading in their institutions. We chose one of our Civitas Learning Pioneer Partners to help us pilot the program, Lone Star College, and they are already seeing powerful outcomes over the first five months. NGLA is designed as a year-long program that brings 20-30 rising leaders at an institution together to ground them in the issues, innovation, and insights of today and ready them to drive change for tomorrow. The participants meet one day a month for a full-day session of engaged and interactive learning, and then connect throughout the year on an NGLA LMS instance. The sessions cover the following topics:
  1. Access, Equity, and Completion
  2. Learning Outcomes: Liberal Arts, Workforce, Psycho-Social (Non-Cog), and Accreditation
  3. Learning Models –Level One (e.g., on-ground, online, blended, learning communities, iBEST)
  4. Learning Models –Level Two (e.g., competency-based learning, open education, accelerated, MOOCs, augmented reality, z-degrees)
  5. Learning Analytics – Insight Analytics and Data Science
  6. Learning Analytics – Action Analytics and Design Thinking for the Front Lines of Learning
  7. Learning Analytics – Systems, Culture, Leadership Strategies, and Ethics
  8. Working Regional Education Ecosystems: P-20, Industry Alliances, Government Relations
  9. Funding and Finance – Level One (e.g., funding models, budgeting, sustainability, metrics)
  10. Funding and Finance – Level Two (e.g., entrepreneurial activities/partnerships, grants, fund raising)
  11. Politics, Policy, and Governance
  12. Leadership Sync and Strategy: Bringing It All Together
The launch of the program has gone incredibly well, and the participants are definitely diving deep into learning topics. Some initial reflections: “Partnering with Civitas Learning on the NGLA was all about getting Lone Star future ready. We wanted to invest in our rising leaders across the institution to build the capacity to create, guide, and lead thoughtful change that can make a real difference in the months and years to come.” — Steve Head, Chancellor, Lone Star College “It is great to see the excitement and engagement of the members in this inaugural LSC Next Gen Leadership Academy. They value the quality, hands-on teaching and learning, and can clearly realize the opportunities to integrate the data-enhanced knowledge in their leadership roles in the classroom and throughout the college.” –Gerald Napoles, President, Lone Star College-North Harris We’re now going to move to the next phase in this program’s development across interested Civitas Learning partners. We’ll limit this next phase to 3 or 4 more development partners for launch in 2017.  If you’re interested in learning more, or in joining the next cohort, visit here to get more information: Learn More About the NGLA We’ll be sure to share continued learnings and conversations across the Civitas and beyond as this interesting next-generation leadership work takes shape. Our intention is to help our institutions catalyze positive change in their colleges and universities by building out leadership capacity, which of course always works better when we learn together!

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