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 who are 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 offers two year-long programs:
- Stream 1: For teachers and those just starting to explore school leadership roles.
- Stream 2: For those currently serving in mid-level school leadership roles with an interest in pursuing school principal roles.
Each program includes:
- A series of in-person professional development sessions delivered by content experts
- Ongoing virtual professional development to supplement face-to-face learning
- A participant-driven capstone project designed to create change in participant’s school and/or community
2019-2020 Cohort Gathering Dates
The following are the tentative dates of in-person gatherings for the 2019-2020 cohort. Final dates, locations, and travel days will be finalized with accepted applicants prior to their commitment to the program.
- Week Intensive: July 21 - 26, 2019
- Fall Weekend: October 17 - 20, 2019
- Winter Weekend: January 30 - February 2, 2020
- Spring Weekend: April 3 - 5, 2020
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 educators. You do not need to be a Teach For America alum to apply.
- Must be working in a rural K-12 school setting for the 2019-20 school year
- Must be able to fully attend all four in-person sessions over the course of one week and three long weekends.
Stream 1 Participants:
- Should be teaching in a rural school
- Should be interested in pursuing higher-level leadership in a K-12 school setting
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
- Should anticipate being in your role for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years
The 2019 application is now open! You can apply for either of the deadlines below.
Early deadline: Apply by 1/21. You will be notified of your acceptance status by early March.
Final deadline: Apply by 2/25. You will be notified of your acceptance status by early April.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rural locations are generally characterized by geographic isolation and small populations.
RSLA participants have come from all over the country, including from towns that are 2+ hours away from an airport and/or large grocery store.
If you have specific questions or concerns about your situation, please email RSLA@teachforamerica.org.
Yes. Nominations and referrals are welcome and an important way we identify candidates for the RSLA. To nominate someone, please email RSLA@teachforamerica.org. You are encouraged to nominate multiple alumni. Your nomination(s) will remain anonymous.
We will accept a group of 55–58 participants divided relatively evenly between the Stream 1 and Stream 2 programs.
Yes. We are putting a lot of content into a very short time together, and need all participants to plan to be at every day of each of the in-person engagements.
No. Participation in the RSLA will not lead to any certification or degrees. RSLA is designed to be a training program. You will receive exposure to some of the best practices in rural school leadership across the country.