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Fellowship Curriculum

The NLA curriculum and learning strategies draw upon traditional leadership theory and recent scholarship that investigates the roles of leaders under highly contested and complex conditions. This pedagogical approach will empower institutional and organizational leaders with the knowledge, tools, and courage needed to lead effectively on their campuses and across the system of higher education. The yearlong NLA Fellows' experience is organized around a series of core competencies (see Figure 1).

The Fellows Program includes residential sessions, online materials and collaboration opportunities. Residential sessions consist of 4-5 day Leadership Institute at the University of Michigan where NLA Fellows will work in teams with a highly experienced leadership coach to engage in learning modules related to leading for diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. Curriculum is informed by the scholarship and leadership work of The National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good (National Forum) and each day's learning modules build upon the team and individual work done by the Fellows before and during the Institute. Throughout the week, Fellows engage in a multifaceted case study simulation that is designed to examine a contemporary issue in higher education. The case study, managed through a series of online interactions and team collaboration, is enhanced with interviews, background exhibits, and proprietary information. Each team will be expected to assess a particular institutional setting informed by the activities and learning strategies provided throughout the fellowship. Both the residential sessions and the online collaborations have been tested with a range of previous participants achieving high receptivity and significant learning outcomes.

The curriculum is structured to accommodate different learning styles. Drawing on scholarship, contemporary events, and the experiences of both NLA Fellows and other leaders in higher education, NLA seeks to stimulate change by equipping fellows with the knowledge, tools, and courage to lead within their institutions and across the higher education system. During the course of the Fellows Program, fellows will engage in a range of interactive modules, which include presentations and workshops, consultations with esteemed leaders in higher education, live case study, group discussions, and individual reflections.

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The NLA curriculum is organized around a number of carefully chosen heuristics. The ecological model (Figure 2) is one example. In its simplest form the model provides a representation of connections between individuals, institutions, and society. Each learning module has been designed to consider one or more aspects of this ecology, to address the required leadership skills, and to support fellows in overcoming barriers across the ecology.

Fellows should be prepared to view themselves as co-constructors of their own learning as it will be the experiences, perspectives, and insights of the participants that ultimately inform and enhance the overall experience.

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