Leaders for Challenging Schools to Get Improved Training with $730,000 Grant

Many low-income and diverse student learners soon will have principals and superintendents who are better prepared to address their specific learning needs, thanks to a $730,000 grant to The University of Texas at Austin's University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA).

The three-year grant is from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and will be used by the UCEA to work with school leadership programs at The University of Texas at Austin, Bank Street College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Duquesne University, Hofstra University and Lehigh University, as well as the Southern Poverty Law Center. All of these programs prepare a significant number of leaders who go on to take jobs in schools that serve primarily low-income and diverse student populations.

"The FIPSE request for proposal asked for projects that are innovative, of national significance, developed at a grassroots level and that have a strong potential for dissemination to other institutions," said Michelle Young, UCEA executive director and principal investigator for the grant. "We're very pleased that the UCEA was chosen. Selection for this grant indicates recognition of the expertise of our excellent UCEA faculty and our potential, in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to enhance the performance of school leaders who are heading to some of the most challenging schools."

With support from FIPSE, the UCEA will develop curriculum modules that become part of the core curriculum used in school leadership programs at the six participating universities. The instructional modules will be designed to offer critical content knowledge and learning experiences that strengthen leaders' ability to support students' academic achievement at low-performing schools.

This innovative curriculum redevelopment project will build on the UCEA's Urban Leadership Development Program, which already is in place and also focuses on rethinking and redesigning the preparation of urban school leaders

The UCEA is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children. It is in the College of Education's Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin.