Leadership Academy/CAGS


The MCLA Leadership Academy is a cohort model that blends academic content with practical skill and knowledge development. Created to support the advancement of working professionals, the Academy is a low residency model (summer and weekend), with independent and online work assigned between sessions. Students earn 31 credits through pre-practicum experiences, seven courses, an administrative project, an administrative practicum, and a culminating Leadership Academy Conference.

MCLA Leadership Academy courses are taught by nationally recognized educational theorists and successful school and district practitioners serving in the roles of superintendent, principal, curriculum coordinator, and department leader. Courses include a blend of social, political, and academic theories and practices in examining current trends in public education. We want to prepare school and district leaders who will ensure the highest quality and most equitable, just and effective learning environments for students. Activities include reading, writing, discussion, group projects, case studies, simulations, experiences in museums, lectures by prominent thinkers, project-based tasks, self-assessment, fieldwork, and application of course concepts.

Our goal is to prepare candidates to serve as highly effective leaders of educational institutions and active citizens in their communities. Leadership Academy graduates will be able to: shape a vision based on equity and justice ensuring inclusive, anti-racist teaching and learning environments; create a climate hospitable for education in schools and the community; cultivate collaborative leadership with faculty and staff; improve curriculum and instruction resulting in academic success for all students; and manage people, data, and processes to foster continuous school improvement.

Leadership academy members

Leadership Academy Offers Revitalization Ideas for North ...


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Friday morning coffee klatch at the parklet on Eagle Street has grown by leaps and bounds as a stopover to catch up with friends and acquaintances on the way to work. This past Friday saw a singular bump in attendance as members of the Berkshire Leadership Academy saw an ...


Leadership Academy Alumni in the News:  Heidi Allen 2019 Cohort

For More Information

Leadership Academy 2024            

Leadership Academy Brochure   


Marianne Young, Director: marianne.young@mcla.edu

Apply by April 15

Application for 2024 Cohort


Alumni Profiles

Annie Pecor

An experienced teacher, the current head of the Berkshire County Elementary Principals Network, and a graduate of MCLA’s Master of Education program as well as MCLA Leadership Academy, Pecor knows well that working in education can be challenging. As principal, “people come to you all the time with questions or problems,” she said. “When I was a teacher, I’d go to the principal with a problem, and to me, it was the biggest problem. As principal, people deserve for me to be present in that moment with them. I want people to feel valued.”

Jesse McMillan

Fewer than 3 percent of Massachusetts’ school principals are under the age of 30, but as the recently named principal of New Hingham Regional Elementary School, 25-year-old MCLA alumnus Jesse McMillan ’14, M.Ed ’17 is one of them.