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Stanford Graduate School of Business Teams with School of Education to Launch Program for Educators

stanfordRecent research has shown that school leadership has a dramatic impact on student achievement, so Stanford has launched an innovative program designed to help district school leaders strengthen their strategic thinking, problem-solving skills and leadership ability as a means of boosting achievement among all students.

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business  (GSB) has partnered with its Graduate School of Education (GSE) to develop the new program, which is called the Executive Program for Education Leaders (EPEL). EPEL, which targets superintendents and two to three members from their central office, will focus exclusively on leaders from California school districts in its first year. EPEL will span an entire year, involving participants in both on-campus and distance-learning sessions taught by Stanford faculty, as well as leaders in the field who will speak to the class.

The new EPEL program will be offered by the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative (SELI), which also runs a Principal Fellows Program.

SELI Executive Director Rebecca Katz notes that the EPEL program will be different from other leadership training offered in education, which often focuses on managing rather than on changing organizations. “Excellent management skills are crucial, of course, but today’s leaders have limited opportunities to interact with researchers to come up with new ways to approach and solve problems,” Katz said in a statement. EPEL will offer such opportunities.

Drawing on the expertise of Stanford faculty, the program will cover topics including design thinking; crisis management; motivating and managing people; implementing and assessing reform; leading and supporting workforce learning; technology in education; and turning around low-performing districts and schools.

The program will begin in July with one week on the Stanford campus, during which the focus will be on general management. Over the ensuring year, the program will continue with off-campus, online sessions and one-on-one support, as well as two additional weekend on-campus sessions, on in October and the other in March.

“In addition to exposing participants to cutting-edge research being conducted by Stanford faculty, the program fosters collaboration, giving space and time for leaders to build relationships and create networks that support continued learning,” Katz said in a statement. “It can often be lonely in these leadership roles and these supports are crucial to success.”

The multidisciplinary approach, leveraging the expertise of both the GSB and GSE, is designed to help encourage and equip educators with innovative solutions to problems their school districts face. “Over the course of the year, we hope participants will extend beyond their comfort zone and find new ways to have impact,” Stanford GSB Professor Larissa Tiedens, who serves as faculty co-director of EPEL, said in a statement.

Applications for the new EPEL program are being accepted on a rolling basis until April 1st. The cost of the program, which is highly subsidized by Stanford GSE and GSB, is $2,000 per team member, which includes tuition, room, board and course materials.

Learn more about Stanford’s new Executive Program for Education Leaders.