Friday, June 3, 2011
TRAINING THE LEADERS: NEW KANSAS EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE PROVIDES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, MENTORING
MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's College of Education and educational leaders from across the state are partners in a new institute for the induction and mentoring of school district executive leaders.
The Kansas Educational Leadership Institute is a partnership with the State Department of Education, the Kansas Association of School Boards, the United School Administrators, the Kansas School Superintendents Association, the Kansas Leadership Center and K-State's College of Education. Each of the partner organizations have committed resources to the institute. Grants, partner in-kind and fiscal contributions will support it in its first year.
Professional development is a key tenant of the new institute.
"The purpose is to collaborate and share resources supporting the professional growth of education leaders needed in Kansas schools for the 21st century," said K-State's Mary Devin, associate professor of educational leadership and the institute's first executive director.
Facilitating the mentoring and induction services for first-year superintendents will be the institute's top priority. Devin said the Kansas Educational Leadership Institute, or KELI, was formed because the partners recognized the importance of such professional development and found no existing models of the quality sought for the state's school leaders. Experienced superintendents will have the opportunity to participate in professional development activities. Devin hopes the institute will be able to offer similar programs to school principals in the future.
"The partners hope the services provided by the institute will strengthen support for executive leaders, increase their leadership skills and help in attracting and retaining leaders of the highest quality at Kansas schools and districts," Devin said.
While the institute will be based at K-State, its programs will stretch across the state. Mentoring sessions will be delivered to new superintendents at their own work sites and collaborative learning sessions will take place at convenient locations.
Quality leadership in Kansas schools is important and the state has a role in making sure that it's readily available, Devin said.
"KELI will merge the most recent research and best practice with the reality of current practice," Devin said. "Successful practitioners will share their expertise with beginners, and leaders will have a chance to discuss and work together on today's problems."