The Leader Fellowship

The Special Education Leader Fellowship is a 2-year cohort-based program designed to improve educational programming for students with exceptionalities. Our participants include current and aspiring special education leaders and RTI coordinators.

Leadership Fellowship Components

Expert Training

Training with national experts and high-performing practitioners

High Leverage Feedback

High leverage and school based feedback with individualized coaching

National School Visits

Visit a city with cohort to see who is doing exemplar work


What is the Leader Fellowship Program?

The Leader Fellowship Program is a selective 2-year program designed to improve educational programming for New Orleans students with exceptionalities starting with special education leaders as the main unit of change. Targeting current and aspiring special education leaders, this program leads to direct improvement of special education programming in schools and ensures that all students reach their fullest potential. 

What are the Leader Fellowship program elements?

  • Training in leadership skills and content expertise with a cohort of peers working as special education and RTI coordinators.
  • On-the-job training including 1:1 coaching from SELF experts, program reviews, and critical friends visits.
  • National school visits to learn from excellent programs serving students with disabilities in a high-quality way .

Will the applicant need a principal endorsement?

Special Education leaders work in partnership with their school leaders, and SELF works to nurture a shared vision and core understandings between special education leader and their school leaders. In addition, school leaders are required to:
  • Officially endorse Fellow candidates as part of the formal application process
  • Attend two half-day sessions annually
  • Agree to release the Fellow for one day for a Peer Program Review at another school
  • Agree to host a Peer Program Review at their school
  • Release the Fellow for three days for the National School Visits trip
  • Release the Fellow for two half day workshops scheduled during the school week

Can interested candidates participate in the Leader Fellowship program if he/she works on the CMO/district level?

Yes, a candidate can also hold a position at the CMO/district level and be a participant in SELF. The candidate will have to meet the same requirements as a school building SELF candidate.

What are the requirements for fellows?

Fellows have various professional titles, but are Special Education or RTI leaders (coordinator, director, or other teacher leader) or aspiring leaders whose primary responsibility is the success of students with exceptionalities.
Additionally, they have:
  • 2 years of teacher experience, as of first year in the Fellowship.
  • Teacher-leadership responsibilities (for example, leading team meetings, coaching other teachers, planning professional development, analyzing data to improve learning, co-planning, etc.)
  • Principal support to develop their professional competencies through the 2-year Fellowship.
  • A commitment of at least two years to their current school.

Who would benefit most from the Leader Fellowship program?

Current and aspiring special education leaders and RTI coordinators, would benefit most from being a member of SELF. SELF leads to direct improvement of special education programming in schools.
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