Equity Leadership Academy for States

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

Applications now open!

What is the Equity Leadership Academy for States?

The Equity Leadership Academy for States seeks to engage teams of administrators from state departments of higher education 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 technical assistance (TA) through the following engagement opportunities for selected cohort members:

  • 4 Virtual Equity Training Workshops
  • Support with an Action Research Project
  • 4 Monthly Virtual Technical Assistance Meetings
  • 3 Virtual Capacity Building Training Workshops
  • 1-day In-person Showcase

All of the curriculum and facilitation for this project will be directly guided by cohort members through a design thinking phase prior to group engagement to ensure we provide appropriate support. 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 implementing 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.

Who should apply?

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 3-5 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. Learn more in our FAQ Sheet

How do I apply?

Ensuring we have a representative group of dedicated participants is of primary importance given the reciprocal nature of this work. Our application is a combination of questions regarding your team’s demographic make-up, work experience in relation to Perkins V and the CLNA process, as well as your overall commitment to educational equity. To be considered for this cohort, please fill-out and submit your application by 11:59 PM EST September 22, 2022.

Important Dates


September 22, 2022


October 6, 2022

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.

Felix Wilson

South Carolina

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.

Shadrach Banks


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.

Edith Ramirez


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 and watch our informational webinar below to learn more about our facilitators, timeline of events, expected time commitment, and expanded explanation of program offerings. We also have a sample application that you can access to help support your planning process.

If you’d like to learn more about how our first implementation of the Equity Leadership Academy went, read our Executive Summary and/or our Full Report

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Ashley at aconrad@napequity.org.

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