Future Leaders Academy

Preparing Today's Educators to be Strong Leaders of the Future


Northwest Education Services (North Ed) sponsors a professional learning academy for educators/teacher-leaders from the region who are aspiring to become school leaders. Developed in 2023, the academy draws on the expertise of practicing administrators from northwest Michigan and across the state to serve as session leaders and facilitators during a 10-month program. The academy prepares participants with knowledge and skills training needed to be effective school leaders. 

PDF DocumentFuture Leaders Academy Summary

How to Apply

Prospective candidates must be sponsored by their supervisor/school administrator. Applicants must complete the following to be considered for the academy:

Academy Format

  • 10-month program from September-June
  • Required attendance at monthly cohort meetings held from 4:30-7:30 p.m. with program themes designed to develop leader knowledge and skill
  • Mentor and job-shadow experiences alongside practicing school administrators and leaders
  • 110 hours of field work and/or internships
  • Guided support on culminating project portfolio
  • Exit interview for reflection and guidance toward next professional steps

Participant Expectations

If selected, participants will be expected to:

  • Attend ALL sessions and mentor meetings
  • Complete 110 hours of fieldwork/internships with their assigned administrator
  • Complete five days of job-shadowing experience through the 10-month program
  • Complete all program assignments including project portfolio tied to standards of the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) and/or Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL)
  • Pay tuition/course fees if in pursuit of graduate degree credits (optional path)
  • Seek and secure a mentor to help guide experiences through the 10-month program

Learning Objectives

Future Leaders Academy focuses on essential and pragmatic topics of school leadership. Participants will learn:

  • Leadership
    • Internal & External
    • Ethics, Equity, Inclusiveness
    • Building Professional Capacity
  • Putting Theory into Practice
    • Time Management
    • Resource Management
  • Change Management
    • School Improvement
    • Data-based Decision-making
    • Law, Due Process, Special Education
  • Putting It All Together
    • Mock Interviews
    • Project Portfolio

Credit Options and Opportunities

In addition to State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs), Future Leaders Academy offers participants the ability to earn college credits through Grand Valley State University and a microcredential from Northwest Education Services.


MI SCECHs will be offered, at no additional charge, with college credit equivalent for this course. SCECHs cannot be obtained in conjunction with college credit opportunities. 

College Credit

Participants may pursue a graduate degree and administrator certification by obtaining graduate credits from Grand Valley State University. All registration paperwork will be handled directly by GVSU. Classes are 600-level courses. It is the student's responsibility to speak directly with an advisor. 

Leader Microcredential

Academy participants have the ability to also earn a leader microcredential from North Ed. 


Contact us:  LeadershipSupport@NorthwestEd.org