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Teach For America alumnus, Jason Britt standing outside of a school building in Hawai'i.

In rural regions across the country, there is a strong demand for committed, effective school leaders. The Rural School Leadership Academy is open to all educators passionate about rural education and driven toward school leadership roles.

About the Rural School Leadership Academy

Develop the knowledge and skills necessary for school leadership roles while building a powerful network of aspiring school leaders in rural communities.

The Rural School Leadership Academy is a yearlong fellowship for two streams of aspiring and current school leaders:

  • Stream 1: Classroom teachers who are beginning to explore school leadership roles.
  • Stream 2: Mid-level school-based leaders preparing for school principal roles.


The key program components include:

  • Four cycles of virtual professional development focused on building skills in school leadership competencies.
  • One-on-one leadership coaching twice-monthly throughout the fellowship.
  • Participant-driven application of learning to impact participant’s school community.

All expenses are funded thanks to an Education Innovation Research Grant from the U.S. Department of Education and private funders.

2021-2022 Learning Cycles

We design our learning cycles to be accessible across all time zones and participant availability. We ask that all participants are available for the cycle kick-off date, and from there, participants select the session schedule that works best for them. For more about what to expect in a learning cycle—see below.

  • Summer 2021: Monday, July 19 Kick-Off, Cycle ends August 8, 2021
  • Fall 2021: Saturday, October 16 Kick-Off, Cycle ends November 6, 2021
  • Winter 2022: Saturday, January 22 Kick-Off, Cycle ends February 11, 2022
  • Spring 2022: Saturday, March 26 Kick-Off, Cycle ends April 10, 2022

Eligibility & Requirements

We are looking for applicants who are passionate about rural education and are driven toward school leadership roles.

This program is now open to all rural educators. You do not need to be a Teach For America alum to apply.

All Participants:

  • Must be working in a rural K-12 school setting for the 2021-22 school year.
  • Must be able to fully attend all four virtual learning cycles.

Stream 1 Participants:

  • Should be teaching in a rural school.
  • Should be interested in pursuing an adult-facing leadership role in a rural K-12 school setting in the next 1-3 years.

Stream 2 Participants:

  • Must be serving in a role where the majority of your time is focused on instructional leadership of adults (likely a mid-level leadership role in a school such as assistant principal or dean.)
  • Should have clear aspirations toward principalship in a rural community in the next 1-4 years.
  • Should anticipate being in your role for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years.


Final Deadline - February 21, 2021

Please contact if you have any questions.

What our participants are saying about RSLA

“This has been the most useful training in my career.”

“I wish all my Professional Developments were like this. I built great relationships with my cohort through the experience.”

“Excellent energy and atmosphere. Did not seem virtual at all!”

“Everyone is so interesting, with such diverse perspectives and experiences. I feel like I learn so much just by listening to others and learning what they know. I truly appreciate the opportunity to be in virtual community with everyone in this group.”

“I love the momentum and the build up of the sessions. I love how they are evolving as we move through the program.”

“I've learned strategies that I will be implementing on the daily basis.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Please contact if you have any questions that are not answered below.