Gain the credentials you need to become and succeed as a head of school.
Thank you for your interest. We are no longer accepting applications for the 2013-14 cohort, but encourage you to apply next September when registration opens again. View the newly named NAIS 2013-14 Fellows.
Since 2004, the NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads has helped more than 480 women and men define and embark on their path to leadership. More than one-third of the NAIS fellows have already secured their first headship. As current school heads begin to retire in record numbers, be part of the group of independent school professionals who are prepared and ready to lead.
During the one-year fellowship (while you are still working at your current school), you will:
- develop and refine your own leadership style;
- learn about key issues that heads of school face;
- tackle a project at your school;
- gain a mentor — an experienced head of school;
- cultivate an invaluable network of peers; and
- distinguish yourself for future head of school searches.
About the Fellowship
The fellowship is a one-year professional development program for individuals at NAIS member schools who wish to become heads of independent schools. Through programming, mentorship, and a school project, fellows develop their own leadership styles, learn key issues and skills, and develop a strong network. The components of the fellowship include:
- programming and guided networking at two NAIS Annual Conferences (February);
- attendance at the Aspiring Heads Institute (summer), which includes extensive leadership assessment work;
- engagement in a mentor relationship throughout the year; and
- work on an individualized school project throughout the year.
In addition to helping fellows hone their leadership skills, making them more dynamic, effective leaders, the fellowship provides fellows with an opportunity to give back to their schools through their work with the individualized school project. Past fellows have strengthened their school communities by researching and implementing effective teacher evaluation procedures, developing alternative revenue streams, enhancing their school's marketing strategy, and working to create new programs and curriculum. The list of their accomplishments is extensive and impressive and has left their schools stronger and more competitive as a result.
Who Can Apply?
To be eligible for consideration as an NAIS fellow, you must:
- Work at an NAIS member school, and have worked as an administrator in independent schools for three or more full years;
- Have a master's degree or other advanced degree, or be in the process of obtaining one;
- Commit to completing all the components of the program in the fellowship year;
- Secure the backing of your school head (including financial support); and
- Complete the online application linked at the top of this page (when registration is open).
All participants at NAIS member schools are welcome to participate in the fellowship program. NAIS has an institutional commitment to the principles of diversity. In that spirit, NAIS does not discriminate in violation of the law on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, sexual orientation, age, physical challenge, nation of origin, gender, or any other characteristic.
What Is the Cost of This Year-Long Program?
The total cost for all the services noted above is $3,950. This includes the cost of registration at two NAIS Annual Conferences, registration for the week-long Aspiring Heads Institute (which includes room and board), and all programmatic and curricular components of the fellowship.
Links for Current and Past Fellows
Fellowship alumni: Are you at a new school or in a new position? Please email your new school or position information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2003-2004 Cohort (PDF)
2004-2005 Cohort (PDF)
2005-2006 Cohort (PDF)
2006-2007 Cohort (PDF)
2007-2008 Cohort (PDF)
2008-2009 Cohort (PDF)
2009-2010 Cohort (PDF)
2010-2011 Cohort (PDF)
2011-2012 Cohort (PDF)
Resources and Contacts
NAIS is indebted to The Benedict Foundation for Independent Schools for its generous support of the most recent class of Aspiring School Head Fellows.
For more information please contact fellowship director Jay Rapp at (202) 973-9752 or email@example.com.