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New and Aspiring School Leaders: Spring Session

3/26/17 to 3/29/17

Tuition: $2,550 per person

Application Deadline: March 22, 2017

​Fall 2016 Session: November 6-9, 2016

Faculty Chair Pamela Mason on New and Aspiring School Leaders.

What You Will Learn

Gain the tools, frameworks and leadership techniques needed to step into a leadership role, build and sustain effective learning environments, and improve instructional excellence.

Program Overview

New school leaders must be ready and able to assume the role of instructional champion—working on many fronts to improve and sustain student achievement. At the same time, they need to manage the academic development of a changing school population and accelerate the development of teachers. These initiatives require school leaders to focus on the management of resources as well as the ongoing renewal of school culture.

New and Aspiring School Leaders will prepare you for the many leadership challenges of American schools today. You will examine these challenges from the ground up, and clarify your vision of an effective school and your role in leading it. Working closely with faculty and seasoned practitioners, you will define your core values and understand how they can help you promote educational excellence.

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Usable Knowledge: A Community of Principals

Program Objectives
  • Assume a leadership position with a vision for success
  • Improve instruction through effective teacher supervision and evaluation
  • Foster curriculum collaboration among the faculty
  • Utilize resources and time to maximize student achievement
  • Discover ways to support all learners in your classrooms
  • Achieve community support for your school's mission
Who Should Attend
  • School leaders in the first one to two years of the principalship
  • Educators anticipating a leadership position over the next one to two years
  • Members of the school community who are entering or plan to enter leadership roles, including teacher-leaders, department heads, assistant principals, assistant heads, division heads, curriculum coordinators and other members of the school community interested in expanding their leadership skills
What People Are Saying

"What a blessing. I gained so much from hearing my colleagues stories, discussing leadership and protocols, and being immersed in learning." —Sarah Thomas, Lower School Technology Facilitator, Norwood School, Washington, D.C.

"Hehir was a hoot! Engaging and persuasive—I learned what I should be doing." —Debra Vigstrom, Assistant Principal, Highland High School, Bakersfield, CA

"This program might be the best professional development I have ever had." —Liron Lipinsky Salitrik, Head of Schools, Congregation Beth Shalom, Pittsburgh, PA

"I have really enjoyed connecting with colleagues, having thoughtful discussions and sharing our varied perspectives. Wonderful." —2012 participant


Faculty Chair

Pamela Mason is Lecturer on Education, Director of the Language and Literacy Master's Program and Director of the Jeanne Chall Reading Lab at HGSE. Mason served for 10 years as a reading/language arts curriculum director and for 19 years as an elementary school principal in the Boston area. She is president of the Massachusetts Association of College and University Reading Educators (MACURE) and was past president of the Massachusetts Reading Association. She collaborates with colleagues nationally and internationally on preparing reading specialist teachers, implementing literacy coaching, developing school leaders and evaluating school-wide literacy programs.


Enrollment Instructions

Admission to New and Aspiring School Leaders is competitive; we regret that we are unable to accommodate all applicants. To maximize the learning experience, the program aims to bring together as diverse a group as possible. Both individuals and teams are welcome to apply. As the program fills quickly, early application is encouraged.


Step One
You will be asked to provide your personal profile and organizational information.

Step Two
You will be asked to respond to the following questions:

  1. Explain how participation in the program will benefit your work and describe one or more significant challenges you would like to explore during the program. (250 word limit)
  2. In what ways do you expect your particular skills, experience and perspective to contribute to group discussions? (250 word limit)


Identify Your Team Coordinator

  • Before beginning the application process, you will need to identify a team coordinator.
  • The coordinator will be the primary point of contact during the application process and preparation for the program.
  • The coordinator does not need to attend the program and will have the opportunity to indicate if they will be attending during the application process.

Application Process

  1. A team application to be completed once by the coordinator.
  2. A team member application to be completed by each member of your team.
  • In order for your team to be considered for review by the admissions committee, each team member will need to complete the team member application. The coordinator will receive a link to the team member application once the team application is complete.
  • Once started, the team application must be completed in a single session. It should take 15–20 minutes to complete.
  • A list of required questions will be provided at the beginning of the team application.
  • When your coordinator is ready to complete the team application, it can be accessed by continuing to the next page.
Fees, Hotel Accommodations, and Policies

The comprehensive tuition includes all instructional materials and refreshments. Participants receive a certificate of participation and a letter confirming clock hours of instruction.

Payment or a purchase order must be received within thirty days of program acceptance and prior to the program start. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. While a purchase order confirms a reservation, an outstanding balance is maintained until payment is rendered. If funds are unable to be processed within these guidelines, a documented payment plan is to be sent via mail, e-mail, or fax, and received two weeks prior to the program start date.

Please click here for more information on hotel accommodations for on-campus programs.

Please click here for more information on our on-campus and online refund and withdrawal policies. If you have any additional questions or concerns about your ability to participate, please contact our admissions team at or 1-800-545-1849.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

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