National Leadership Institute Final Report

Publication October 2003

The National Leadership Institute (NLI), a program of the National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education, focused on developing individual leadership capabilities for selected education professionals in secondary and postsecondary career and technical education in the United States.

The NLI was a yearlong program for each class. The first class began in July 2001 and ended June 2002. The second began in June 2002 and concluded in June 2003. The NLI helped current and future career and technical education leaders develop leadership capacity, establish a vision and mission for workforce education, lead change, understand the process of policy development, and understand the culture in which programs exist. Approaches to help potential leaders attain their goals and achieve NLI goals included face-to-face national meetings, distance education experiences, internships, mentorships, and readings and discussions.

The 2001–2002 Scholars included 33 secondary and postsecondary Scholars from 11 states. These individuals represented instructors, state directors of career and technical education, and community college administrators. Of this group of Scholars:

  • more than 50% were given new responsibilities in workforce education
  • approximately 25% were moved to new positions in workforce education
  • three served as mentors for the 2002–2003 scholars
  • two used their NLI experience to receive credit toward a graduate degree
  • the vast majority agreed or strongly agreed that the NLI was a good investment of their time, and would recommend the NLI to coworkers/colleagues

The 2002–2003 Scholars included 25 Scholars from 13 states, consisting of individuals serving in positions such as teacher, Job Corps principal, state department of education administrators, technical and community college administrators, teacher educators, and tech prep coordinators. Of these individuals:

  • one has been named Division Chair in a technical college
  • four Scholars employed in state departments of education have had their areas of responsibility increased
  • one has become highly involved in the state professional career and technical education association
  • one has been named CEO of the largest career and technical education district in the nation
  • one has been named as interim state director

The final evaluations, conducted at the end of the two NLIs (2001–2002 and 2002–2003), were compared, and noticeable and dramatic differences were found. First, the total average rating for all items was higher (4.5 compared to 3.9 on a 5-point scale) for the 2002–2003 NLI.

Additionally, the overall perception of the 2002–2003 NLI experience was rated at 4.9 on a 5-point scale. In terms of the general features of the NLI, substantial improvement occurred between the 2001–2002 and the 2002–2003 sessions. This finding was anticipated based on the fact that the NLI staff was using evaluation results from the 1st year to develop the agenda for the 2nd year.

A follow-up evaluation of the 2001–2002 Scholars was conducted in the summer of 2003, a year after the conclusion of their NLI experience. This evaluation examined the most meaningful aspects of the NLI, short-term changes, and long-term impacts. The most meaningful aspects of the NLI were the networking with other Scholars and leaders in the field, exposure to federal policy and legislation, and a more in-depth understanding of CTE issues. On a short-term basis, they passed their knowledge on to others and/or performed various leadership activities. The NLI went beyond just expanding the Scholars’ cognitive understandings by affecting their attitudes in unique ways—enhancing their confidence in relation to working in CTE, motivating them to seek further education, and making them more willing to fully assume leadership positions. The long-term impact of the NLI included a number of results. The Scholars indicated they possessed more positive attitudes toward CTE, increased leadership skills, and confidence in their ability to lead, and increased involvement with professional organization activities. The Scholars also saw the need to partner with other constituencies and the rest of education, promote the viability of CTE, and seek ways to improve student achievement. A follow-up evaluation of the 2001–2003 Scholars—a year after the conclusion of their NLI experience—was not possible due to the end of this activity in June 2003.

McCaslin, N. L., & Parker, R. (2003, October). 2003 National Leadership Institute final report. Columbus, OH: National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education.

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