District Leadership Fellows Program

Leaders of school districts occupy complex roles. They're responsible for setting a vision, executing a strategy, and motivating those around them. To help superintendents and district leaders enhance their leadership capacity in these areas and beyond, the Institute for Leadership Impact developed the District Leadership Fellows program.  This hybrid in-person and online strengths-based leadership development program enhances the leadership abilities of fellows through an intensive year-long cohort.   To date, 112 leaders from 105 districts in seven states have participated in the program.

Applications are now open for the 2024-2025 cohort. Established and emerging district leaders who are collaborative, motivated to create change, and who have a strong desire for personal leadership growth are invited to apply. Fellows will apply learning from cohort meetings, peer group meetings and interactive tutorials to a real-world challenge in their districts.

  • Receive individual coaching 
  • Participate in dynamic in-person and online sessions 
  • Learn from SMU faculty and education experts 
  • Engage with in-house interactive training modules 


  • Enhance your leadership skills 
  • Better align your work with your personal mission 
  • Apply your learning to a real-world challenge in your district 
  • Expand your network and collaborate with a diverse cohort of peers  

More information on the application process, along with highlights from the current cohort, are available in our blog. Additional information is available in the program flyer or by contacting Christine Ferguson at cjferguson@smu.edu or 214-768-1073.

Apply Now

“District Leadership Fellows gave me the gift of time.”

Dr. Kermit Ward
Vernon ISD