Laurie Elish-Piper named fellow of Deans for Impact Academy

Laurie Elish-Piper
Laurie Elish-Piper

Laurie Elish-Piper, dean of the NIU College of Education, today was named an Impact Academy fellow.

She joins a cohort of 13 leaders chosen for their commitment to improving educator preparation; collectively, they lead programs that enroll more than 3,500 teacher-candidates in 11 states.

Eight of this year’s fellows lead programs at public institutions, three fellows come from private institutions and two fellows lead programs that are non-traditional pathways into teaching. Two fellows come from Minority-Serving Institutions.

“There are many challenges facing education deans, but by learning and working together through the Impact Academy fellowship, I believe we can address them,” Elish-Piper said. “I’m excited to work collaboratively with other deans to ensure we are preparing teachers who are ready to make a difference from their first day in a classroom.”

Many colleges report declining interest among faculty in administrative positions even as the role of dean grows more complex and important. In order for educator preparation to improve, the field needs leaders who can set a bold vision for improvement, motivate faculty and support individual and organizational learning.

Deans for Impact aims to fills this need through its year-long Impact Academy fellowship, which empowers a new generation of transformative leaders with skills, knowledge and strategies to help solve the complicated problems they’re facing.

“We believe that transformative leadership is the cornerstone of an educator-preparation program that embraces an improvement mentality and prioritizes candidate learning above all else,” said Benjamin Riley, founder and executive director of Deans for Impact.

deans-for-impact-logo“We’re thrilled to welcome 13 such leaders into the Impact Academy fellowship, and are excited to nurture and support these leaders as they embark on efforts to improve their own educator-preparation programs and the field more broadly.”

Launched in summer 2016, the Impact Academy fellowship combines intensive in-person sessions with ongoing support, mentoring and individual learning.

Fellows will kick off the year with a rigorous four-day academy in July 2018, and then extend their learning over the course of the fellowship through individual modules and ongoing leadership coaching from Deans for Impact member deans.

Each cohort of Impact Academy fellows is limited to no more than 20 leaders, each of whom went through a rigorous nomination and application process. Elish-Piper, who has led the College of Education since July 2016 after serving one year as acting dean, is a member of the fellowship’s third cohort.

Deans for Impact is a national nonprofit organization that empowers, supports and advocates on behalf of leaders at all levels of educator preparation who are committed to transforming the field and elevating the teaching profession. Founded in 2015, the organization is committed to reflecting the broad diversity of programs preparing new educators in this country – something today’s announcement reinforces.

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