The 41-year-old New York Education Policy Leadership Program (NYEPLP*) is, as of fall 2022, co-sponsored by the Fordham University Graduate School of Education and Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES. Leading Fordham GSE’s involvement is Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy Division Chair Margaret Terry Orr, Ph.D.
Since 1981, the program has provided a unique, yearlong professional development experience for educators who have a strong interest in overall strategic education policy, educational leadership, and educator networking. Each year, the broadly diverse statewide cohort of approximately 25 fellows represents urban, suburban and rural leaders, including: school district and building administrators; private, parochial, and charter school leaders; education organization leaders; school board members; and graduate students.
“As someone who had the amazing good fortune to participate in the program during my time as Executive Director of the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association (WPSBA), I can say it has been transformative for me,” shared Lisa Davis, current co-coordinator of NYEPLP. “We are thrilled to be moving forward in partnership with Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education educational leadership program and Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES as we ensure that each person who completes this distinctive curriculum walks away with much greater understanding and perspective about how to make and execute consequential educational policies. We know we’ll also be continuing to create lasting connections among up and coming New York educational leaders.”
Throughout the program, cohort members engage in deep learning in a variety of ways, including team-based policy projects, in-person forums, and monthly virtual meetings. The team-based policy analysis projects involve collaborative research to develop a policy position on a topic of interest, complete a group policy paper, and make an oral presentation to the entire cohort at the end of the experience. The two-day fall forum offers a strategic leadership experience held on the Gettysburg Battlefield, and U.S. Army War College faculty share broadly relevant leadership concepts taught to military leaders. During the daylong Washington, D.C. spring forum, national education think-tank experts and education policy influencers share a broad range of perspectives with the group. Finally, the core monthly, virtual speaker-led meetings provide consistent seminar-style discussions with university professors and prominent speakers in education policy and leadership, plus opportunities for rich dialogue, networking, and sharing of ideas and perspectives.
Davis’ fellow program co-coordinator, Robert Feirsen, Ed.D., emphasizes: “As a Fordham alum and long-time school and school district leader, I am proud of Fordham’s participation and leadership in the New York EPLP. And as a former fellow in the program, I can attest to the fact that it is the most stimulating and informative professional learning experience I’ve had since my Fordham days..” He adds, “Fellows in the program enjoy a unique opportunity to develop deep insights about the intersection of policy and strategic leadership; the knowledge they gain and the relationships they establish extend their knowledge base and enrich their school communities. Fordham’s partnership in this program is yet another example of its deep commitment to P-12 schooling.”
Cohort members will be recruited each year via word-of-mouth and communications from Fordham GSE and Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES to school districts and universities. Educators who wish to participate may apply online. Interested program alumni may also participate in NYEPLP’s Advanced Education Policy Leadership Program (AEPLP) or the Global Education Policy Fellowship Program (GEPFP).
The NYEPLP is fully funded through tuition fees paid by members of the cohort, with administrative support provided by Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES.
*Formerly the New York Education Policy Fellowship Program (NYEPFP), part of the Institute for Educational Leadership.