Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Education Pedro River recently announced that Shippensburg University received a portion of federal grant funding under the Eligible Partnership Grant Program. SU was awarded nearly $1 million for its Learning to Lead Urban Leadership Residency Program.

The two-year program, modeled after SU’s nationally accredited superintendent certification residency program is designed to prepare aspiring principals for leadership positions in Pennsylvania’s high-needs urban schools. Coursework will combine with practical application through site-based residencies. Upon completion of the program, candidates will be eligible to sit for the stat licensure exam to be certified as principals.

“Over the past several decades, the achievement gap between high-needs/high-poverty school districts and other high performing districts has been increasing.  The good news is that there are exceptions to this trend.” said Dr. Jerry Fowler, professor of educational leadership and grant director.

“One major indicator of potential success is the ability of stakeholders to identify and prepare school-based leaders specifically for work in such high-needs districts. Results in such situations have been encouraging.”

SU identified four school districts that will participate in the program. A total of 24 teachers from Harrisburg, Steelton-Highspire, York City and Reading school districts will be selected to participate. Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit’s Center for Schools and Communities will evaluate and assess the program.

The program is offered through the Department of Educational Leadership in Shippensburg’s College of Education and Human Service. Fowler will serve as the grant director. Dr. Phillip Diller, professor of educational leadership, and Dr. Jennifer Pyle, professor of early childhood education, are associate directors.