In July 2008, Riverbend Public Schools (RPS) in Western Michigan and Grand Valley State University (GVSU) received a grant from the Wallace Foundation that supported the development of a specialized educational leadership program. The project was designed to customize an existing degree program in the university’s College of Education, focusing on leadership skill sets for urban school leaders. The project, titled the “Aspiring Leaders Program,” allowed 34 urban teachers and new principals to obtain a master’s degree in educational leadership or an educational specialist degree in educational leadership with special expertise in urban schools. The program ran from November 2008 through the fall semester of 2009. In the late fall of 2009 and again in 2012, follow-up studies were conducted to determine if this customized program had benefited the participants and if they continued to use the skill sets they had been taught. This study describes the 2012 three-year follow-up study and discusses its results.
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