Frequently Asked Questions

The NACSA Leaders Program, Cohort 8

Who is the Ideal Candidate for the NACSA Leaders Program?

To be eligible to apply for the Leaders Program, you must:

  • Currently work in an authorizing office.
  • Be able to attend the kick-off call and all five Leaders Program sessions

We look for individuals who possess a commitment to the work of authorizing, and who demonstrate both a track record of taking initiative as a leader and a desire to build upon that experience. While we do not require applicants to hold a particular position, strong candidate generally have significant people and/or project management responsibilities and influence in decision-making in their offices.

How much does it cost to participate in the Leaders Program?

The cost, including transportation and lodging for in-person sessions, is covered by NACSA.

What is the time and travel commitment?

Leaders are required to attend four in-person sessions and three virtual sessions. The first and last in-person sessions take place in conjunction with our annual NACSA Leadership Conference, and the additional two in-person sessions are hosted in the Chicago area. Dates for in-person sessions indicated on the schedule include travel time. Times for virtual sessions are to-be-determined and will not exceed three hours.

What are the expectations for work outside of the in-person sessions? How much homework will I have?

Leaders have assigned pre-work and readings prior to the first session and between all subsequent sessions. Ongoing readings and reflections focus upon leadership style and related topics, as well as specific authorizing content. All participants are expected to complete a capstone project that they work on throughout the program. While the time it takes to complete pre-work varies by participant and by session, participants can expect to spend approximately 8-10 hours on pre-work prior to each session.

How many people are in each cohort, and what is the cohort makeup like?

NACSA makes selection decisions based first and foremost on the strength of the applicants, so the number of participants varies year to year. Past cohorts have had 10 to 12 participants. We limit the size of each cohort to a maximum of 12 participants to accommodate the highly-interactive delivery format. Past cohorts have been comprised of individuals representing all types of authorizing environments (districts, ICBs, universities, etc.) and serving in a variety of capacities (Executive Directors, Deputy Directors, Managers of Accountability, etc.). We find that this diversity provides for a more engaging and rich learning environment. See the Candidate Profile for more information.

What topics are covered in the sessions?

In general, topics covered in the sessions fall within four areas of leadership development: 1) Self Leadership, 2) People Leadership, 3) Organizational Leadership, and 4) Practice, or Authorizing, Leadership. In the past, we have included topics such as strategic planning, organizational culture, accountability and autonomy, and relationship building, but we also determine topics relevant to authorizing and leadership based on the needs of each specific cohort.

How does the coaching component of the Program work?

The Leaders Program coaching offers real-time feedback as participants seek to apply what they have learned to their work and personal growth goals, and to sustain that learning. The coaching relationship begins at the first in-person session and continues through the last in-person session. Each participant in the Program is paired with a coach who has extensive authorizing and leadership experience. Each pair is expected to meet by phone or Skype roughly once a week, and the coach visits the Leader twice during the program.

I’d like to talk with someone who has participated in the Program. Can you connect me?

We are happy to set up conversations with Program alums. Please contact David Greenberg.

What does the group do for fun?

Learning is aided by the relationships we form, and the Leaders Program is no exception. Participants get to know one another well through the intimate learning experience as well as social outings. Past cohorts have attended sporting events, gone on architectural boat tours along the scenic Chicago River, and participated in bowling matches.

What happens after the Program ends?

There are various opportunities to remain engaged with fellow cohort members and Program alumni to continue learning, sharing best practices, and driving innovation in the field. Leaders alumni have presented at Leaders Program sessions or the NACSA Leadership Conference, served as Leaders Program coaches, and contributed articles and testimonials for NACSA’s blog and newsletter. Further, NACSA hosts in-person Alumni convenings, where Leaders can broaden and deepen their networks, grapple with problems of practice, and consider trends in education.

Where can I get more information about the Program?

For more information, please contact David Greenberg