Emerging Leaders Academy
What Is the National Education Association Higher Ed Emerging Leaders Academy?
The NEA Higher Education Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) is a three session training program over a nine month period that is open to dues paying higher education members from all categories of higher education who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. Candidates can apply for the program directly but must be endorsed by their state association or higher education affiliate.
The purpose of ELA is to provide hands-on training to new and future leaders of higher education locals to strengthen the long-term viability and effectiveness of these locals and their state associations. ELA also provides emerging leaders an opportunity to become part of a national network of ELA participants and graduates.
What will I learn?
The ELA coursework focuses on four major areas:
- The principles of unionism with an emphasis on effective collective action in states with and without collective bargaining;
- How to use the structure, resources, culture, and work of NEA effectively as a local leader;
- Skill building in areas such as issue organizing, member recruitment and mobilization, and communication and message development to help strengthen local unions/associations;
- Self-reflection and group work in leadership and group dynamics.
*ELA is not intended to be a training institute for collective bargaining or grievance processing.
What kind of time commitment does the ELA require?
There are three training sessions over a nine-month period.
The training schedule for the three sessions is as follows:
Session #1: June – 4 training days
Session #2: November – 3 training days (second session dates may vary during election years)
Session #3: February through early March – 2 training days plus attendance at the National Higher Education Conference – 6 days
NEA covers all expenses allowable under its travel guideline for all training activities, including attendance at the Higher Education Conference.
Who is eligible to apply?
All categories of higher education members; full-or part-time/contingent faculty, education support professionals (ESP), academic (non/instructional) professionals, and graduate assistants as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.
What are the eligibility requirements?
- Candidates should have an interest in becoming more active and show leadership potential and commitment to building a strong local union/association.
- Candidates must be open to new experiences, be committed to being respectful of their classmates and trainers, and be willing to participate in the sessions in good faith and be willing to complete all ELA assignments during and between sessions.
- Candidates must embrace ELA’s philosophy of inclusivity and understand that they will be working with classmates from all sectors of higher education membership.
- Candidates must believe in their state and local associations, the importance of collective action, and the right of employees to organize and participate in unions. We are looking for energetic candidates who will most likely contribute to the long-term growth and development of their unions/associations.
- Candidates must commit to attend and participate in all of the sessions and all of the segments of each session of ELA.
- Candidates must complete all course assignments or be subject to immediate dismissal from the program.
- Candidates must be willing to identify a local or state mentor prior to the first training session that will support them throughout the year long program. Please note that the NEA will support you in identifying a mentor if needed.
What happens if I cannot attend all three sessions?
We must understand that personal and professional emergencies can arise, but participants must make every effort to attend all three sessions. Nominees who are selected must complete the entire first session in order to attend the two subsequent sessions. If an emergency arises, ELA participants commit to notifying the NEA Higher Education Program as soon as possible.
What happens after the ELA sessions are completed?
ELA graduates must apply academy learnings and skills to the work of their local unions/associations by working on committees, running for association offices, and contributing to the long-term growth and development of their unions/associations.
How do I apply? I am interested.
Application packets can be downloaded from the NEA web site at www.nea.org/he or you can e-mail Phadra L. Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org for a hard copy application. ELA applications can be downloaded or requested throughout the year. However, the application deadline for the new class is February 20th of each year. Applications must be received by February 20th.
Once you complete the application packet, submit it to Phadra L. Williams, ELA coordinator via e-mail at email@example.com or fax at (202) 822-7624. You can also submit your packet directly to:
Office Of Higher Education
NEA Constituent Relations
Attn: Phadra L. Williams, ELA Coordinator
ELA Application Enclosed
1201 16th Street N.W., Suite 410
Washington, DC 20036
Application submission guidelines require you to have the endorsement of your state association or NEA Higher Ed direct affiliate in order to be considered. Please be sure to review all of the application guidelines and complete all of the requirements of the application process prior to submitting your packet to NEA.
You will be notified via e-mail once your application is received in our office.
In April, you will be notified if you are selected for an interview. Members selected for the program will be contacted in early May.