NACEP’s Leadership Academy: Developing New Leaders for National Stage

April 15, 2021

Written by: Angela Hobby, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

In 2018, NACEP welcomed its inaugural class of professionals for the first NACEP Leadership Academy. More than 40 individuals that work in a variety of positions in education have completed the Academy thus far, each one taking away with them a very unique and personal experience that impacted their professional career. As we prepare to open up the application process for the third cohort of the Academy, we thought it was a great time to highlight what past participants gleaned from the experience.

“After having the opportunity to network and build relationships with other dual enrollment leaders during the Academy, I was able to learn policies and practices that take place across the United States'' stated Kasey Damori, Director of Outreach with Western Wyoming Community College. “With that foundation, I was able to lead a state-wide task force to determine what our state needs to do to improve access to dual enrollment opportunity.”

NACEP’s goal in starting the Academy was to provide an avenue for professional development while exposing participants to the national conversation around concurrent enrollment. We were eager to help develop emerging leaders in the field who wanted to build their leadership skills by exploring policy and larger education trends.  

“This experience solidified the importance of continuing to consider my program within the national context. Since then, I have sought out additional opportunities including serving as president of the New England chapter of NACEP, and participating in the College in High School Alliance working groups,” stated Amy Hubbard, Executive Director of Early College with the University of Maine System.

As we prepare for the Academy’s third cohort, the focus is still the same but with a greater emphasis on building leaders to drive national conversations. The 2021-2022 Leadership Academy will feature a robust slate of monthly trainings that take leadership to a higher level, a capstone project centered around becoming part of the national conversation about concurrent and dual enrollment as well as the development of future advocates for NACEP and its mission.

“For me, the NACEP Leadership Academy was an important and valuable opportunity to network and collaborate with dedicated, innovative dual enrollment professionals spanning multiple states and regions. This academy is a wonderful platform that gave me an increased awareness of and commitment to developing enhanced leadership skills in service of dual and concurrent enrollment programming while also promoting a deepening awareness of navigating both the challenges and many opportunities facing dual enrollment programs.”

We hope that the individuals selected for this highly sought-after leadership program will walk away with the confidence to participate on a much greater level in the movement to expand concurrent and dual enrollment and to be an advocate for the work that thousands of NACEP members are doing on a local, state and national level.

I think that Speranta Klees with Western Maricopa Education Center said it well when reflecting on her experience in the Academy. She stated “I feel very supported as part of the larger community. With fellow colleagues, we are growing early college opportunities for students, while being mindful of quality programming, as well as inclusion, access, equity, and diversity.”

I encourage you to consider applying for the 2021-2022 NACEP Leadership Academy and developing your leadership skills for the next level. Applications open on April 15th.