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$5 Million Grant Will Support Ed Leadership Program

By Zara Zhang, Crimson Staff Writer

The Graduate School of Education received a $5 million grant that will boost its Doctor of Education Leadership Program, School of Education Dean James E. Ryan announced in late November.

The grant, requested from Walmart founders' philanthropic arm, the Walton Family Foundation, will fund three fellowships in the program, the creation of online course materials, the institution of forums on education leadership, and the building of an alumni network, program co-director Elizabeth A. City ’94 said.

Introduced in 2010, the three-year program trains cohorts of 25 students to become leaders in America’s PreK-12 education. Participants receive a full tuition funding package and are offered a residency at a partner organization in their third year.

According to City, the grant will enable the School of Education to sustain the program over time and to increase the school’s impact in the field of education leadership.

Ryan said that the program has generated a lot of support from individuals and institutions who “believe that leadership is a key issue in education.”

“This is a really innovative program,” he added.

The program takes a multidisciplinary approach, drawing from courses at the School of Education, the Business School, and the Kennedy School of Government, according to associate professor of education Martin R. West IV.

“We thought it would be useful to bring together representatives from a broad range of these organizations to compare best practices, identify common challenges, and examine the extent to which leadership pipelines can be improved in order to support the American education system,” West said, adding that the program represents a new practice-based model for the development of education leaders.

—Staff Writer Zara Zhang can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @zarazhangrui.

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