Equity Leadership Academy for States

Building Capacity to Implement and Support the Postsecondary Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment and Local Application under Perkins V

What is the Equity Leadership Academy for States?

The Equity Leadership Academy for States brings together state leaders, community college faculty and staff, and, most importantly, students to build capacity to center equity within Perkins V and the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA) and begin the important conversations necessary to transform our education systems. Academy teams will be engaged in (1) adopting an equity lens, (2) building institutional capacity, (3) creating community, and (4) sharing lessons learned with national partners planning and implementing the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessments (CLNA) in accordance with Perkins V. Over the course of the next year, we will provide meaningful, focused, and effective support through the following engagement opportunities for selected cohort members:

  • Co-Creation Phase
  • Pre-evaluation
  • 4 Virtual Equity Training Workshops
  • Support with an Action Research for Equity Project
  • 2 Monthly Virtual Technical Assistance Meetings
  • 3 Virtual Capacity Building Workshops
  • 2-day In-person Showcase
  • Post-evaluation

All of the curriculum and facilitation for this project will be directly guided by cohort members through a Co-creation phase prior to group engagement to ensure programming is responsive to the needs of State teams. We will also offer one-on-one TA upon request to address needs specific to local contexts. 

Why should I participate?

Adopt an Equity Lens

You will learn how to place equity at the center of your work and build the skills necessary to have equity-minded conversations with colleagues both in the planning and implementation of your local CLNA processes.

Build Capacity

We will provide guidance and technical assistance to fully prepare you to provide support to LEAs conducting the new analysis of special populations, particularly around how to look at data to identify root causes in performance gaps.

Create Community

This program will provide you with a platform you need to build relationships with other states spearheading CLNA efforts in their communities and institutions.

Share Lessons Learned

Your participation will help us create sustained pathways of support by sharing lessons learned with members across the nation implementing the CLNA in their local context.

Cohort Reports

We have successfully completed the Equity Leadership Academy for States with two cohorts to date. The dedication of cohort members to center and embody equity in the CLNA process inspired collective learning and action among all participants and facilitators. To learn more about Academy highlights, lessons learned, outcomes, and recommendations, read our Cohort 1 and 2 reports.

Who should participate?

We are looking to work with postsecondary state agencies and local education agencies (LEAs) conducting and implementing a CLNA in accordance with Perkins V. Our goal is to work with up to 10 states; each state will be required to develop a team of up to six leaders who are committed to integrating an equity lens into their CLNA process to ensure knowledge is shared and resources and approaches are effectively institutionalized. These teams can include postsecondary agency personnel, specialists, consultants, community leaders, and students who represent one or more of the “special populations” outlined in Perkins V, including Students of Color.

Here's what past participants had to say...

“Working with NAPE has really shown me the power of planning and taking action, especially when it comes to student voice and centering people who are less represented. Taking action can be something as simple as students sharing their learnings with their peers, a teacher asking a student what’s important to them, or a legislature making equity systemic. If we are not always asking “How can we do better?”, we can’t get to the solution. No matter who you are or where you are coming from, you can start the process and make a difference.”

“Seeing is believing. My biggest takeaway from the Equity Leadership Academy is knowing that so many people are involved on a national scale working behind the scenes to bring equity to our educational system. I am just happy to see everyone fighting for what’s right. The Academy has allowed me to share my own story about experiencing racism at my school with a group of people who are choosing to surround me with support and come together towards a common cause. My hope is that we continue to see the effects real time locally; It’s good to sit and talk about it, but eventually we’ve got to stop talking about it and take action.”

“Student voice is important to me because all of us, as students, are affected directly by the CTE and education in general. Many students like me belong to underserved populations, with different backgrounds or special conditions and we need extra support or conditioning to accomplish similar objectives that students who are part of the dominant culture. I am a Latina adult English learner, with great motivation to continue with higher education in this country. Unfortunately, I have a strong accent. It has often been a cause of discrimination, probably because I have been perceived as a person who has "broken English" instead of a person who is perseverant and is working hard to achieve her goals. The Equity Leadership Academy provided me a space to use my own voice even "broken" in a constructive way to be able to share my own and others student’s experience from similar backgrounds like me as a way to find alternatives for improvements and help future students’ generation to close equity gaps for underserved populations.”

Curious but need more information?

Honoring your time and setting clear expectations for your participation is of utmost importance to us. Please read through our FAQ Sheet to learn more about our facilitators, timeline of events, expected time commitment, and expanded explanation of program offerings. We’ve also created a Student FAQ Sheet that can be used to help recruit your student representative. 

If you’d like to learn more about how our first and second implementation of the Equity Leadership Academy went, read our Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 reports. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Ashley at aconrad@napequity.org.

Watch the recording of our informational webinar held on Thursday, August 17 at 3:00 PM EST to answer any questions you may have about the Academy or application process.