Leadership Excellence Academies (LEA)

Download a PDF version of the LEA Flyer.

Local program managers are a key player in the delivery of quality adult education and literacy services. Like most of us in the field, they came into this business “sideways” with degrees in everything from political science to home economics. Many of them had limited or no preparation for the complex tasks of leading, planning, implementing, and evaluating adult education services.

The professional development of local program managers is critical to program improvement and the quality of service. Especially with the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the need for high quality professional development systems that lead to improved instruction and learner outcomes is vitally important. And that is why the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium (NAEPDC) and the Center for Literacy, Education & Employment (CLEE) have joined forces to develop the Leadership Excellence Academies (LEA).

The LEA Program Design

  • The overall focus of LEA is to offer a responsive, cost-effective leadership development program that utilizes a skills-based approach and is grounded in sound leadership and management concepts, principles, and
  • LEA is built upon a foundation of research, theory, professional wisdom, and best
  • Training occurs over time with opportunities for application through a series of interim activities and learning
  • Technology-based delivery mediums—including online courses, electronic portfolios, and webinars —are combined with face-to-face workshops to expand
  • Managers are trained by national trainers with strong backgrounds in local adult education and literacy program management and
  • National certification in program improvement and continuing education credit are available for participants who wish to pursue these options.


The LEA Curriculum

The LEA curriculum is focused first and foremost on program improvement. It includes a series of six modules that are offered over a two-year period. Five of the six modules combine face-to-face workshops with interim learning activities and various web-based activities. The fifth module, The Leadership Approach to Program Improvement, is a stand-alone online course. The six modules include:

Year One                                                                                                                                                     

  • Using Stakeholder Assessments to Identify Strengths and Needs
  • Integrating Research Into Teaching and Learning
  • Using Data to Guide Program Management

Year Two

  • Strategies for Motivating and Retaining Adult Learners
  • The Leadership Approach to Program Improvement: How Leaders Inspire, Influence, and Achieve Results
    (online course)
  • Getting Instructors Off to the Right Start


Training and Certification Options

NAEPDC and CLEE understand that the professional development needs of states differ. That is why a variety of options are available. States may select one or more of the following:

  • National Certification: A state can contract for the complete training series with follow-up learning projects leading to national certification of local program managers. CLEE will track and certify completion of all training Participants who complete all of the required activities by designated submission dates are formally certified and can display CMPI (Certified Manager in Program Improvement) after their names.
  • Continuing Education Credits: Participants who complete the two-year course requirements may earn continuing education credits (CEUs) from Colorado State University. They must meet the same requirements and designated submission dates as those seeking national certification.
  • Professional Development Only: Participants complete all of the LEA activities but are given a more flexible submission They are not eligible for national certification or graduate credit.
  • State Certification: A state can contract for the complete training series with follow-up learning projects leading to a state certification or
  • Customized Training: A state can request a customization of the training series to meet state-designed certification


Participant Expectations

In Year One, participants are expected to:

  • Actively participate in:
    • Three six-hour face-to-face workshops,
    • Two one-hour online courses, and
    • Three one-hour
  • Complete and submit interim activities between the face-to-face workshops and begin work on a culminating learning


In Year Two, participants are expected to:

  • Activity participate in:
  • Two six-hour face-to-face workshops,
  • One six-hour online course, and
  • Three one-hour
  • Complete and submit interim activities between the courses and submit the culminating learning

For more information, contact:

Stacey Wright, LEA Project Manager