KU Prepares Teachers to Lead with the Launch of KU Teacher Leadership Academy

Group photo of teachers participating in program

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Kutztown University proudly introduces the Kutztown University Teacher Leadership Academy, a transformative initiative dedicated to nurturing and empowering the next generation of education leaders. The university announced its inaugural partner with the program at an event Thursday, Nov. 30, with Schuylkill Valley School District.

Building on a legacy of excellence in teacher education, Kutztown University has consistently produced influential educators. The KU Teacher Leadership Academy is the university's latest commitment to advancing educational practices and fostering the development of educators who will lead with innovation and impact.

“The future of education is through deep, strategic school-university partnerships,” said Dr. Rebecca West Burns, dean, College of Education. “The partnership between Kutztown University College of Education and Schuylkill Valley School District stands as a model of how educational entities can unite to address complex issues like the teacher shortage. When schools and universities work together in intentional ways, they can make a collective impact for teachers and students. The Teacher Leadership Academy is transforming the nature of teacher learning in schools and what graduate coursework looks like at universities. By working together, we are creating career advancement for teachers where they can earn advanced credentials that matter.”

At the heart of the Teacher Leadership Academy is a revolutionary, clinically centered model of teacher leader preparation. This unique program places a strong emphasis on aligning graduate coursework with the specific needs of individual schools. By tailoring the curriculum to address the real-world challenges faced by educators, the Teacher Leadership Academy aims to cultivate a cohort of teacher leaders capable of driving positive change within their school communities.

“The Schuylkill Valley School District is proud to partner with Kutztown University in this forward-thinking initiative,” said Dr. Cathy Taschner, superintendent, Schuylkill Valley School District. “The partnership is not only aimed at producing a strong line of teacher literacy leaders, but is also aimed at creating a robust teacher pipeline grounded in collaboration and a true apprenticeship model that links university researchers, classroom practitioners and prospective teacher candidates. We look forward to the positive and lasting impact this work will bring for students and staff.”

Grounded in a shared mission to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children, adolescents and young adults, the KU Teacher Leadership Academy is dedicated to enhancing student achievement. This mission serves as the guiding principle for collaborative decision-making and problem-solving processes within the program, fostering a sense of purpose among educators.

Key Features of KU Teacher Leadership Academy

  • Onsite Learning: Courses are thoughtfully delivered directly at individual schools.
  • Aligned Academic Calendar: The curriculum is strategically synchronized with the school’s academic calendar.
  • Relevant and Practical: Course content is designed to be immediately applicable to teachers' daily practice.
  • Tailored to School Improvement Plans: The program is customized to align with the specific goals outlined in the school's improvement plan.
  • Collaborative Planning: Courses are meticulously planned in collaboration with both school administration and university faculty, ensuring a holistic approach to teacher leadership development.
  • Endorsement and Certificate Programs.

The KU Teacher Leadership Academy also offers specialized endorsement and certificate programs tailored to meet the diverse needs of school districts. Examples include Instructional Coaching, English as a Second Language and Reading Specialist programs, providing educators with focused skills to elevate their impact in the classroom.

For more information about the Kutztown University Teacher Leadership Academy, please contact Dr. Rebecca West Burns, dean, College of Education, at burns@kutztown.edu or 610-683-4300.