Northern Michigan Leadership 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 2022, 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. 

How to Apply

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

  • Google FormsOnline Application
  • Submit the following documents to
    • Signed participation letter from local administrator
    • Letter of interest stating why you desire to enroll in the academy
    • Current resume

Academy Format

  • 10-month program from October-August
  • Required attendance at monthly cohort meetings held from 4:30-8 p.m. with program themes designed to develop leader knowledge and skill
  • Mentor and job-shadow experiences alongside practicing school administrators and leaders
  • 100 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 100 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

Northern Michigan Leadership 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
    • Exit Interview
    • Project Portfolio

Credit Options and Opportunities

In addition to State Continuing Education Clock House (SCECHs), Northern Michigan Leadership Academy offers participants the ability to earn college credits through Grand Valley State University and a microcredential from the Michigan Department of Education.


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. 

Teacher Leader Microcredential

Academy participants have the ability to also earn a Teacher Leader microcredential from the Michigan Department of Education. 


Contact us:  NMLA@NorthwestEd.