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The Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership addresses the ongoing transformation of Pre-K to 12 organizations from a leadership perspective.

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Alumni Fellows Program

The Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education was pleased to announce the launch of the Mid-Career Alumni Fellowship Program in Educational Leadership in 2010. This program continues as an intergal way to keep alumni involved while allowing them to pursure initiatives that they are personally meaingful to them.

The Mid-Career Fellows Program will advance educational leadership within and across cohorts of Mid-Career students and alumni by supporting:

  1. A structure for engaging current students and alumni in critical conversations about contemporary issues in the field of educational leadership as well as in the sharing of ideas, skills, expertise and resources;
  2. Individual and group professional development initiatives conducive to the focused exchange of best practices around shared concerns, resources and constraints;
  3. Strategic alliances, partnerships and networking;
  4. Support for current students and alumni through structured mentoring experiences;  
  5. A Leadership Network that cultivates its members as practitioner-scholars and pragmatic educational innovators;
  6. A forum in which individuals and groups build solutions together, including the development of entrepreneurial models and initiatives; and
  7. Inquiry communities that generate findings and disseminate them to the wider field.

We view the Fellows as professionals who bring deep and broad kinds of experience and advanced expertise in many areas that will contribute richly to professional and intellectual exchange in the Mid-Career Program and in the Penn community more broadly.  Fellows exemplify the theory-research-practice nexus and have a desire to innovate models of leadership development through building relationships and structures that support network members in professional advancement and critical dialogue.

Fellows will take a leadership role in developing the Mid-Career Leadership Network, shaping the Fellowship in relation to their specific skills and interests as well as engaging in several of the following initiatives:

  1. Developing and facilitating The Saturday Commons, a monthly cross-cohort meeting place for focused discussion of work-based questions and discoveries, including live cases from practice, mentoring around career decisions and trajectories, and support for networking between current and former Mid-Career students;
  2. Participating in two cross-program Fellows meetings on campus;
  3. Contributing to the development of an annual forum at Penn for Mid-Career students and alumni to present and engage in dialogue about current research and practice.

Additionally, fellowships are designed to advance some combination of the following initiatives (to be decided with each Fellow at the beginning of the Fellowship term):

  1. Working with students and alumni to cultivate and disseminate research endeavors, including the development of individual and collaborative research initiatives and publishing of research conducting during and after the doctoral program;
  2. Teaching within existing modules offered in the Mid-Career Program;
  3. Guest editing our new online journal “Penn Nexus – Leading Thought in Practice”;
  4. Organizing presentations at related conferences, both local and national, as well as selecting and inviting guest speakers on relevant topics;
  5. Developing innovative tech-enabled resources in support of ongoing leadership development, including online simulations; and
  6. Serving as mentors to a selected number of students in a group mentoring context.

Fellows would work closely with program faculty to create an individualized plan; we welcome applicants to suggest additional or alternative roles that fit with their specific areas of interest and expertise.  As well, we would like to develop, with each Fellow, a plan for involvement after the Fellowship period ends.

Each year we will accept up to two Fellows, who must be graduates of the Mid-Career Program. An honorarium of $2000- will be awarded to each Fellow upon completion of their fellowship, along with pre-approved expenses for activities related to the Fellowship plan. Fellows will work directly with Michael Johanek, Director, Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, and Sharon Ravitch, Director, Executive Leadership Development. The Program’s research assistant, Kathy Rho, will provide support as needed.  While some of the responsibilities outlined above will be on-site, much of this can be accomplished remotely.

Applicants will provide the following in their application:

1. A Letter of Intent that highlights the specific skills, areas of expertise and strengths that they would bring to this kind of leadership role. This letter should be between 500-750 words.

2. A Proposal that focuses on which projects the Fellow would be responsible for and how s/he sees these pieces fitting together into an overall experience.  (500-750 words)

3. A current curriculum vitae, including all publications and professional presentations.

Applications are due on or before November 6th, 2015.  Applications submitted after this date will be considered for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Fellowships would begin no later than January 8th, 2016.   All queries should be directed to either Sharon Ravitch ( or Mike Johanek ( ).