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June 5, 2008

ULM named highest-ranking provider for pilot program

The University of Louisiana at Monroe was recently named the state's premier provider for the Louisiana Leader Fellows Program, a new initiative that will train talented teachers, specifically in high-poverty areas, to become qualified administrators. Out-of-state and non-affiliated external auditors recognized ULM for its ability to "develop an innovative model that will effectively address the unique needs of the students and geographically-dispersed areas."

ULM's College of Education and Human Development is the top selection among four other Louisiana universities that applied to direct this program, a joint effort between the Governor's Office, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education, Board of Regents, and the University of Louisiana System. Louisiana State University at Shreveport ranked second and will also offer the program.

This initiative will provide school districts with funding to train and certify its best teachers to become highly-qualified principals, assistant principals and district leaders. The 13-month program, which is slated to begin July 1, 2008, will greatly benefit education in Louisiana, said Dr. George Rice, professor and Director of ULM's Louisiana Leader Fellows Program. Professors Dr. Rochelle Gilbert and Dr. Beverly Flowers-Gibson will work with him on the initiative.

"This is an incredible opportunity to have a state-wide impact on the quality of education for Louisiana students" Rice said. "We are very excited to have this opportunity to offer our leadership program through a fast-track, highly-interactive model."

The Board of Regents has already begun the selection of potential candidates through an online survey intended to identify 100-150 qualified applicants.

Applicants will be selected for the program via a collaborative process involving ULM program faculty, the Board of Regents and the Department of Education.

Implementation of the new leadership program is contingent upon funds being provided by The Wallace Foundation. Louisiana has applied for a grant from The Wallace Foundation and is working to attain funding from the foundation and the legislature to support the program. The state will receive official notification during June 2008 regarding the availability of the funding.

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