MCLA Leadership Academy Draws Nearly 200 Educators to North Adams, Janet Johnson Bryant Addresses Participants


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - This month, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is home to almost 200 educators from New York and Massachusetts as they participate in the 2010 Leadership Academy for Educators - intensive days of study and evenings of lectures and activities at cultural events throughout the Berkshires.  

Monday night in Venable Hall on the MCLA campus, Janet Johnson Bryant, an expert on social issues, spoke to Leadership Academy participants. She is a leader of the Liberian women's peace movement and a central figure in the film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell.

The event is free and open to the public.

In its 15th year, from July 6-21, the 2010 Leadership Academy for Educators provides the coursework necessary for these professions to advance to administrative positions while they earn graduate credits in just over two weeks.

All of the participants have master's degrees and at least five years of teaching experience.

According to Cindy Brown, vice president of academic affairs at MCLA, Leadership Academy provides an opportunity for educators to complete the contact time of their studies in a compressed time frame, followed up by work over the rest of the summer weeks. "This program allows busy professionals a time for intensive concentration on advanced graduate work, and affords them the opportunity to do so within a supportive learning community," she stated.

These educators are working become a school building leader or a school district leader, such as a principal.

In addition to their coursework, students are participating in cultural activities, such as visits to The Clark, the Williams College Museum of Art and Arrowhead - the former home of Herman Melville. These cultural experiences are integrated into the curriculum.

Taught by MCLA professors and others from across the country - all of whom are experts in education administration and supervision - courses offered include: "Fundamentals of Educational Administration," "Supervision and Evaluation of Educational Personnel" and "Advanced Evaluation of Curriculum and Programs."

Guest lecturers this summer also included Peter Taubman, Ed.D., an expert in adolescence education at Brooklyn College/CUNY, on how teachers' and students' psycho/social identities are constructed in schools and in educational discourses and how these identities affect teaching and learning. Taubman spoke on July 7.

Leadership Academy is a two-year program: Half the students are embarking on the first group of classes, while the rest are completing their final coursework.

Between Leadership Academy summer sessions, participants complete an internship in a school district near their homes, working with a superintendent or a principal. This allows them to apply what they learn in their first year, before returning to MCLA to complete the program.

Leadership Academy session can be applied toward MCLA's Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS). For more information, go to leadership, call (413) 662-5543 or visit online at