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 continuous improvement at the individual and organizational levels.
  • Taking the Lead (TTL) is a home-based program administrator academy focused on growing and sustaining your business, developing advocacy skills, and promoting positive learning environments.

Ready to Lead (for newly-hired administrators)

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. Attendees will delve into topics that identify their leadership strengths, engage is interactive learning activities, and fine-tune strategies for dealing with real-life challenges experienced by new directors. Content in RTL is aligned with the Illinois Director Credential and Illinois Gateways to Opportunity.


A Blended Event of Virtual and In-Person Sessions

Applications for our 2024-2025 cohorts coming soon!

(EMAIL MCECL.LA@nl.edu TO RECEIVE UPDATES)

Funded by Illinois Department of Human Services


Download the Ready to Lead flyer to learn more:

Download flyer


Session Topics:

Session 1 – Orientation and Forming a Professional Learning Community
Session 2 – New Role, New Relationships: Learning to Lead
Session 3 – From the Inside Out: The Power of Reflection and Self-Awareness
Session 4 – Leadership in Action: How Effective Directors Get Things Done
Session 5 – Professional Development Coaching

Price

$175* 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)
  • 22 contact hours of Illinois Gateways to Opportunity approved professional development
  • Books, handouts, and materials

Additional Opportunities:

  • Earn IL director Credential credits through participation in AIM4Exellence™ online modules
  • Select up to three modules at no additional cost
  • Five undergraduate college course credit hours from NLU available for an additional course tuition charge

*Valued at over $5,000. The registration fee is only for Illinois administrators. Out-of-state administrators, please contact MCECL.LA@nl.edu


Share the excitement about Ready to Lead with your networks! Download our easy-to-share social media post/email attachment:

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Two RTL Cohorts Available

Select the cohort that is right for you!

RTL 10 – NLU Campus, 850 Warrenville Road, Lisle, IL
Deadline to Apply: July 10, 2024

  • Session 1 | Virtual | September 18, 2024 | 9:00 am – 11:15 am
  • Session 2 | In-Person | September 19, 2024 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Session 3 | In-Person | October 10, 2024 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Session 4 | In-Person | November 7, 2024 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Session 5 | Virtual | December 11, 2024 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

RTL 11 – Mt Vernon, IL 62804
Deadline to Apply: July 10, 2024

  • Session 1 | Virtual | September 25, 2024 | 9:00 am – 11:15 am
  • Session 2 | In-Person | September 26, 2024 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Session 3 | In-Person | October 17, 2024 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Session 4 | In-Person | November 14, 2024 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Session 5 | Virtual | December 12, 2024 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Taking the Lead (for home-based program administrators)

Taking the Lead

Taking the Lead (TTL) is designed to support early childhood administrators of home-based programs to grow and sustain their business.

 

A Blended Event of Virtual and In-Person Sessions

Applications for our 2024-2025 cohort coming Soon!

(EMAIL MCECL.LA@nl.edu TO RECEIVE UPDATES)

Funded by Illinois Department of Human Services and FDC Foundation


Download the Taking the Lead flyer to learn more:

Download flyer


These essential features contribute to the TTL learning experience:

As a participant, you will:

  • Explore and strengthen business and professional practices, focus on improving the learning environment, and practice strategies to become a change agent.
  • Learn strategies for building your leadership capacity, recordkeeping, budgeting, marketing, and improving contracts and handbooks.
  • Participate in interactive learning and guided reflections.
  • Engage with a network of peers in a professional learning community about early childhood leadership.
  • Use the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (BAS) and the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised (FCCERS-R) to diagnose administrative and learning environment challenges and assess the need for change.
  • Experience the impact of using data to improve program quality.
  • Receive support and guidance from a coach.
  • Apply a mini grant to support improvements toward circles of quality in ExceleRate™ Illinois.
  • Participate in the Leadership Connections National Conference, Family Child Care Summit with colleagues from around the world as you learn new concepts.

 

Price:

$175 Registration Fee and full participation gets you:

  • Training sessions (in-person and virtual) from September 2024-May 2025
  • Lunch included for in-person sessions
  • Mini grant towards program improvement fund
  • Books, handouts, materials, and program assessment tools
  • 119 total contact hours and credit towards Illinois Family Child Care Credential. Training delivered through:
    • Group learning
    • Independent online learning
    • Self-assessment
    • Coaching
  • Registration to the 2025 Leadership Connections™ National Conference, Family Child Care Summit
  • 10 quarter hours of optional undergraduate college course credit for an additional fee

TTL is valued at over $5,000, but costs you only $175.


Share the excitement about Taking the Lead with your networks! Download our easy-to-share social media post/email attachment:

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Locations:

National Louis University-Lisle campus
850 Warrenville Rd. Lisle, IL 60532
Public Forum Room

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Edwardsville
1000 Plummer Drive
Edwardsville, IL 60625

 

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

Taking Charge of Change

Taking Charge of Change™ (TCC) is designed to support early childhood administrators of center-based programs in leading an organization to continuous quality improvement.

 

Funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services


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 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.

Links to research on TCC’s impact

Zoom Report

20-Year Review

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

30

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.

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Taking the Lead at a Glance

College credit option available

10

communities of practice have gained life-changing leadership skills

119

total contact hours

“My knowledge did increase because I was able to learn how to use these resources to help us have a successful business.”
Rosa Alvarado, Taking the Lead participant

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