Leadership Academies

Join a professional learning community. The McCormick Center’s Leadership Academies, Ready to Lead (RTL), Taking Charge of Change™ (TCC), and Taking the Lead (TTL), offer transformational professional learning for center-based and home-based program administrators. Taking place over several months, the experience encourages practical application of learning concepts between sessions and the forming of supportive networks. Credits for college and professional development credentials are available.

  • Ready to Lead (RTL) is an academy for newly-hired early childhood administrators created to delve into the power of self-reflection, understand the transition from peer to supervisor, explore leadership styles, and learn strategies for increased productivity.
  • Taking Charge of Change™ (TCC) is designed to support early childhood administrators to embrace change, improve administrative practices, and embark on a journey of continues improvement at the individual and organizational levels.
  • Taking the Lead (TTL) is a family child care provider academy focused on growing and sustaining your business, developing advocacy skills, and promoting positive learning environments.

Ready to Lead (for newly hired center-based administrators)

Ready to Lead

Ready to Lead

An open and inclusive professional learning community designed specifically for recently hired (one-day to five years of experience) center-based, early childhood administrators of all backgrounds.

 

Develop your Leadership Essentials. Delve into topics including: the power of self-awareness and reflection, understanding your leadership style, transitioning from peer to supervisor, and productivity and prioritizing tips. Participate in interactive, in-person learning while networking with other new early childhood administrators. Ready to Lead includes pre- and post-assignments and guided reflections designed to inform your practices, assess your growth, and evaluate your learning experience. Content in RTL is aligned with the Illinois Director Credential and Illinois Gateways to Opportunity.


Download the Ready to Lead flyer to learn more:

Download flyer


Session Topics:

Session 1 | Orientation
Session 2 | From the Inside Out: The Power of Reflection and Self-Awareness
Session 3 | Leadership in Action: How Effective Directors Get Things Done
Session 4 | New Role, New Relationships: Learning to Lead and Shifting from Struggling to Juggling: Prioritizing Pointers and Productivity Tips

Price

$125* and full participation gets you:

  • One, two hour virtual orientation (a working computer with Internet accessibility and audio and video capability is required).
  • Three, full-day in-person sessions (lunch and snacks included)
  • 19.5 contact hours of Illinois Gateways to Opportunity approved professional development
  • Books, handouts, and materials

*Valued at over $2,000. The registration fee is only for Illinois administrators. Out-of-state administrators, please contact Barbara Volpe at barbara.volpe@nl.edu or 847-947-5132.


Share the excitement about Ready to Lead on your social networks! Download our easy-to-use social media toolkit:

Download Social Media Toolkit


Three RTL Cohorts Available**

Select the cohort that is right for you!

RTL #5 | NLU Campus, 850 Warrenville Road, Lisle, IL
Deadline to Apply: December 17, 2021

  • Session 1 | Virtual | February 9, 2022 | 9:00 am – 11:15 am
  • Session 2 | In-person | February 18, 2022 | 9:00 am – 4:15 pm
  • Session 3 | In-person | March 11, 2022 | 9:00 am – 4:15 pm
  • Session 4 | In-person | April 8, 2022  | 9:00 am – 4:15 pm

Apply

 

RTL #6 | Hilton Garden Inn, 360 Regency Park, O’Fallon, IL
Deadline to Apply: April 22, 2022

  • Session 1 | Virtual | June 9, 2022 | 9:00 am – 11:15 am
  • Session 2 | In-person | June 23, 2022 | 9:00 am – 4:15 pm
  • Session 3 | In-person | July 14, 2022 | 9:00 am – 4:15 pm
  • Session 4 | In-person | August 4, 2022 | 9:00 am – 4:15 pm

Apply

 

RTL #7 | Location TBD, Southside Chicago
Deadline to Apply: August 12, 2022

  • Session 1 | Virtual | September 30, 2022 | 9:00 am – 11:15 am
  • Session 2 | In-person | October 7, 2022 | 9:00 am – 4:15 pm
  • Session 3 | In-person | November 18, 2022 | 9:00 am – 4:15 pm
  • Session 4 | In-person | December 9, 2022 | 9:00 am – 4:15 pm

Apply

 

**Per NLU policy as of November 2021, masks are required to be worn by participants at all in-person sessions (regardless of vaccination status). Proof of vaccination must be uploaded at time of registration. If a participant is not fully vaccinated, they will be required to upload proof of a negative COVID test that is taken within seven days prior to each training session.

Taking Charge of Change (for experienced center-based administrators)

A Blended Event of Virtual and In-Person
Sessions for 2021–2022

Taking Charge of Change

APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED

Funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services

Taking Charge of Change™ (TCC) is designed to support early childhood administrators of center-based programs in leading an organization to continuous quality improvement. These essential features contribute to the TCC learning experience:

Learn more about the proven outcomes from TCC.

Empower yourself and embrace the change process. Delve into topics that strengthen your leadership style, promote peak performance, implement a quality improvement plan, and build a strong organizational climate.

As a participant, you will:

  • Explore a variety of leadership topics including: appreciating individual differences,  systems thinking, navigating change, organizational climate, meetings, and shared decision making, to name a few.
  • Learn strategies for recruitment, inclusive leadership, meeting facilitation, organizational climate, peer learning communities, supervising staff, and more.
  • Engage with a network of peers in a professional learning community about early childhood leadership.
  • Participate in interactive learning and guided reflections.
  • Use the Program Administration Scale (PAS) and the Early Childhood Work Environment Survey (ECWES) to diagnose organizational challenges and assess the need for change.
  • Experience the impact of blending shared decision-making with data-based decision-making skills.
  • Receive support and guidance from a coach.
  • Receive a $500 mini-grant to support improvements toward circles of quality in ExceleRate™ Illinois
  • Participate in the Leadership Connections™ National Conference with hundreds of colleagues as you learn new concepts about Whole Leadership.

 

Price:

Valued at over $4,000, but priced at $800, there is no other leadership program as impactful and cost-effective as TCC.

Registration fee and full participation gets you:

  • Thirteen skill-building sessions (a blend of in-person and virtual) led by experts in the field
  • Six points applied toward the Illinois Director Credential
  • 98 clock hours | Illinois Gateways for Opportunity approved
  • Books, handouts, materials, and program assessment tools
  • $500 quality improvement mini-grant
  • Full registration for the 2022 Leadership ConnectionsTM National Conference

 

Note:

  • A working computer with video capability and Internet access is required.
  • The registration fee is only for Illinois residents. Out-of-state residents, please contact Barbara Volpe at barbara.volpe@nl.edu or 847-947-5132.

 

Deadline to apply:

APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED

If you would like to learn more, please download the Taking Charge of Change flyer:

Download

 


Links to research on TCC’s impact

Zoom Report

20-Year Review

Taking the Lead (for home-based program administrators)

Taking the Lead

APPLICATION DEADLINE: AUGUST 8, 2021

Taking the Lead (TTL) is designed to support early childhood administrators of home-based programs to grow and sustain their business. These essential features contribute to the TTL learning experience:

As a participant, you will:

  • Delve into leadership topics specific to family child care, including fiscal management, learning environments, recordkeeping, marketing, family partnerships, and advocacy.
  • Gain an understanding of your role as a change agent—at the individual, business, and community levels.
  • Become part of a professional learning community for family child care providers.
  • Receive support and guidance from a TTL coach.
  • Gain increased access to professional resources that support the ExceleRate™ Illinois Quality and Rating Improvement System (QRIS).
  • Participate in interactive learning, online modules, and guided reflections.
  • Receive two-day registration to  Leadership Connections™ National Conference.
  • Receive a $300 mini-grant to develop and implement a quality improvement plan that demonstrates improvement toward circles of quality in ExceleRate™ Illinois.
  • Have the option to register for ten quarter hours of optional NLU undergraduate college credit available (college credit awarded is transferable and may be applied to the Early Childhood Practice degree program, a baccalaureate degree in early childhood with a specialization in FCC).

 

Price:

$125.00 Registration Fee and full participation gets you:

  • Ten full-day, skill-building sessions led by experts in the field taking place over nine months.
  • Content aligned with ExceleRate Illinois, Illinois Gateways to Opportunity, and the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (BAS).
  • Six points of Family Child Care Credential approved training.
  • Over 100 Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Professional Development Registry training contact hours.
  • Books, handouts, materials, and program assessment tools.
  • $300 quality improvement mini-grant.
  • Two-day registration fee for the 2022 Leadership ConnectionsTM National Conference.

TTL is valued at over $4,000, but costs you only $125.

 

Location:

NLU Lisle Campus
850 Warrenville Rd.
Lisle, IL 60532

 

Note:

Participants must be able to:

  • Have computer access with audio and video capabilities
  • Access the internet including Zoom platform and McCormick Center Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Save and upload files and open PDF documents

 

Deadline to apply:

August 8, 2021

Apply

If you would like to learn more, please download the Taking the Lead flyer:

Download

 

College Credit Available

College credit through National Louis University (NLU) is available for TCC and TTL at an additional cost. Scholarships and financial aid may be available to help you cover the cost.

Contact Us to Learn More

Taking Charge of Change At a Glance

College credit option available

26

communities of practice have gained life-changing leadership skills

98

total clock hours

“Taking Charge of Change is a great way to learn about your role as a leader. It also gives you an opportunity to connect with others in similar roles and situations.”
Jill Schaefer, Illinois, Cohort #25, Director

Embrace change.

Over 700 early childhood leaders have experienced this transformative professional learning opportunity. Subscribe to be notified when applications open.

Subscribe

Taking the Lead at a Glance

College credit option available

5

communities of practice have gained life-changing leadership skills

119

total contact hours

“You will begin to see that paying for this cohort is surpassed after the first hour of the cohort. It doesn’t take long to sincerely appreciate what a great opportunity this is. Truly life-changing for an entrepreneur.”
DeAnna Taylor, Illinois, Taking the Lead Cohort #4, Family Child Care Provider

Empower yourself.

More than 100 family child care providers in the Chicago area make up TTL’s alumni. Apply by August 31, 2019.

Apply

Subscribe