About the Foundation Academy

Researchers have spent years investigating the demands, multiple roles, and critical nature of organizational leaders in higher education, agreeing that they are complex and multidimensional. Given the research trends over the past few decades, as well as the current range of issues facing higher education today, it appears logical to predict a continuous increase in role demands and complexity for educational and organizational leaders.

How do we prepare leaders who…..?

• Understand themselves

• Know how to build relationships

• Have the skills to develop and work with teams

• Think and plan critically and strategically

• Connect their communities

This kind of systemic change in leadership development requires a relevant, learner-centered program. Participants require a theoretical and intellectual base from which to build their leadership experiences, responsibilities, and insights.

Leader development must be carefully designed to broaden participant knowledge of leadership theories and principles, as well as develop supervisory and managerial skills. Training must help participants apply concepts, practices, and processes as they relate to the needs of actual work situations. Training must be problem-based, with a situated learning environment, rich with authentic applications, collaboration, and assessments. The format must be practical and connected to the participants’ experiential world and/or context of their reality. The Academy works to convert the goal for development into an actuality, empowering participants to soar, to sail, to step forward bravely into the unknown. To this end, mentoring and coaching for success are keys to effective leadership training.

The Academy for Leadership and Development offers The Foundation Academy, with opportunities to acquire and understand major research and theoretical developments in leadership. This Academy seeks to facilitate a journey of discovery and development, one that invites participants to get to know themselves, find their voice, and develop confidence as change agents in their lives and organizations.  Participants have the ability to develop proficiency in selecting, integrating, and applying appropriate concepts from social and behavioral science and adult education, formulating and implementing approaches to leadership challenges, concepts, and practices. The Foundation Academy provides a systems approach to transformational leadership and is dedicated to long-term, positive change. It is designed to be inclusive and focus on leadership at all levels in the organization, creating a dialogue that leads to discovery, new knowledge, innovation, and insight.

The Academy training is built upon a foundation of leadership research, theory, competencies, and best practices. Training occurs over time, developing leaders with measured outcomes. Leaders are mentored and coached during their Academy year and provided with ongoing personal and electronic conversations, keeping leaders connected to each other and the Academy.

Who Should Attend the Foundation Academy

The Foundation Academy provides a solid basis of leadership theory, tips, tools, and practical skills all intended to facilitate the success of the NEW and/or EMERGING leader.  As new and/or emerging leaders, Foundation Academy participants engage in opportunities for building leadership capacity, gaining useful knowledge, perspectives, and understandings about themselves and their leadership environment. This program is designed to facilitate personal and professional growth, drawing from theoretical and practical experiences in order to help participants find their voice and build confidence.

Program participants include, but are not limited to, the Program Chair, Director, Department Leader, Administrative Leader, Student Service and Human Resource Leader, Associate Dean, Dean, Associate Vice President, or Vice President.

The Academy for Foundation Leadership is limited to 60 participants per program.

Features and Design

As new and emerging leaders, Foundation Academy participants engage in a journey of self-discovery and development that builds on two key themes: “Know yourself” and “Know your world”. Based on the concept of training over time, participants utilize knowledge and insight about themselves to expand case studies and discussions relevant to the demands placed on higher education and organizational leaders. Each session integrates theoretical leadership concepts and practical experiences, allowing participants to thoroughly understand, internalize, and apply leadership models and competencies.
Four basic criteria are incorporated in both the design and delivery of the Foundation Academy:

  • • Active engagement of participants
  • • Meaningful and relevant curriculum
  • • Content that is useful and applicable to learning in the job setting  
  • • Measurable development outcomes

Outcomes of the Foundation Academy include:

  • • Facilitate the discovery of knowledge about one’s self and the world in which higher education and organizational leaders must operate.
  • • Gain key insights to identify adaptive challenges and learn how to embrace and apply the change process to teams and organizations.
  • • Explore options for “finding your signature voice” as the leader in your life and organization, with an increased understanding of organizational culture and behaviors to make ethical decisions associated with managing the enterprise of education.

Academy facilitators and participants build a sense of commitment and community by developing shared images of the future they seek to create, as well as guiding principles and practices that are needed to achieve that future.

Academy facilitators are subject matter experts and practitioners in the field of higher education and leadership. They work to establish a good foundation of knowledge in both areas in order to aid participant growth and development.

Guest speakers may be added to help contextualize the discussion and ensure participants gain perspective of the many issues being confronted by higher education and organizational leaders.

The overall focus of the Foundation Academy is to establish a high quality, cost-effective leadership development program, empowering practitioners to better engage the world around them while feeling more confident exercising their leadership voice in an era of increasing challenge, uncertainty, and change.


Program Elements

The Foundation Academy consists of two, 5-day residential sessions, one year apart.  These sessions are identified as Part 1 of 2, and Part 2 of 2.  A yearlong practicum experience occurs between these training sessions, with support and guidance provided by Academy Facilitators, self-selected mentors, and an Academy liaison.

The Practicum includes:

Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP)
Participants develop and implement individualized action plans to address leadership topics and competencies covered in the first training session, Part 1. Participants expand their plan to include other leadership topics covered during the second training session, Part 2.

Mentoring and Coaching
After completing Part 1 of the Foundation Academy, participants self-select an internal and/or external mentor who will provide support, guidance, and feedback during the practicum year.  A mentor selection form is submitted to the Academy, providing information about the chosen mentor.

Academy facilitators provide coaching and further guidance and support during the Foundation Academy. Participants also select a "Program Buddy" for peer support during their practicum experience.

Reflective Practice and Journaling 
During the practicum experience, participants are encouraged to continually reflect on their leadership capacity and their IPDP.  Reflection helps participants establish a benchmark journal of where they are now, determine what they have learned from their objectives and experiences, and what they will do as a transformative leader in the future.

Online Connection 
Participants are encouraged to remain engaged in online discussions and webinars. Academy Facilitators are also available during these online connections.

Lifetime Academy Membership is available to all participants, providing an additional forum of collaboration and learning.  Membership benefits include a broad spectrum of materials, publications, and events that further enhance leader skill sets, curiosity, and insight.

Leadership Surveys 
Several assessments are incorporated into the content and cost of the Foundation Academy, allowing participants useful knowledge and insights about themselves in their personal and leadership environments.  In addition, a 360-degree evaluation tool is utilized, allowing participants to evaluate personal growth and development, as well as reflect on the information provided by supervisors and colleagues. With “pre” and “post” leadership survey instruments, these evaluations are measured over time.

Graduate Credit 
The Academy partners with specific organizations for graduate-level credit, available for successful completion of Foundation Academy competencies. This aspect is limited to our specific partners, and their specific programs associated for graduate credit.

Academy Certificate of Completion 
With completion of the Foundation Academy, each graduate is recognized with a framed “Certificate of Completion” and a Foundation Academy pin, celebrating his/her efforts and successful attainment of the Foundation Program competencies.

Academy Costs (in-person)

This Academy Program includes two residential sessions, approximately one year apart.

Total Academy Program Cost: $3,700.00* (USD)

Session Part 1:  $2,800.00* (USD)
Program Costs:

  • • Professional facilitation team and coaches
  • • All Academy curriculum, resources, materials, and online forums
  • • All Academy surveys and assessments
  • • Academy liaison to provide assistance during the year
  • • Academy certificate

Food and Administrative Costs:

  • • Daily lunches and breaks
  • • One dinner
  • • Venue and administrative charges

Session Part 2 - $ 900.00* (USD)
Food and Administrative Costs:

  • • Daily lunches and breaks
  • • One dinner
  • • Venue and administrative charges

*Costs listed above are approximates, dependent upon location, venue, and food packages.

• Additional costs for travel, lodging, and food (outside of package) are the responsibility of each participant.
• Customized Academy schedules have different costs associated with each program.


Academy Costs (Virtual)

This Academy Program includes two online sessions, approximately one year apart.

Total Academy Program Cost: $2,600.00* (USD)

Session Part 1:  $1,800.00* (USD)
Program Costs:

  • • Professional facilitation team and coaches
  • • All Academy curriculum, manual (digital), resources, materials, and online forums
  • • All Academy surveys and assessments
  • • Academy liaison to provide assistance during the year
  • • Academy certificate (digital)
    • Administrative fees

Session Part 2 - $900.00* (USD)

  • • Guest speaker
  • • Administrative fees

*Costs listed above are approximates


Program Topics

PART 1, Residential Session Topics

  • • Building Leadership Community
  • • Complex Role of Organizational Leaders
  • • Strengths Development
  • • Leadership is Everyone’s Business
  • • Understanding Self and Others
  • • Leading Teams 
  • • The Strategic Mindset 
  • • Innovative Actions
  • • Effective Communication 
  • • Leadership Practicum and Program Close


PART 2, Residential Session Topics

  • • Resilient Leadership
  • • Leadership Practices Reassessment
  • • Strengths Based Leadership and Engagement
  • • Work of Leaders
  • • High-Trust Leaders
  • • The Change Leader
  • • Change Management
  • • Innovative Actions
  • • CPDP and Close

Program Competencies

The Foundation Academy Competencies are aligned with the Competencies for Community College Leaders developed by the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.

1.  Be a competent, thoughtful, and introspective leader who values the talents and strengths of self and others

2.  Clarify values through a personal and professional mission statement

3.  Manage the multiple roles and responsibilities of post-secondary leadership

4.  Appreciate, respect, value, and work effectively with others by understanding behavioral styles

5.  Value and maximize strengths for engagement and performance excellence

6.  Engage in reflective practice and journaling

7.  Be a compassionate and conscientious communicator capable of building and sustaining relationships for individual and organizational success

8.  Use effective and principle-centered communication

9.  Be inclusive by appreciating, respecting, and valuing diversity

10. Build and maintain effective relationships and work team

11. Manage individual and team performance by appropriate delegation

12. Integrate recognition and celebration into the culture of teams and the organization

13. Be a thoughtful and diligent manager of talent who develops, coaches, and mentors others for individual, team, and organizational success

14. Differentiate and develop talent and skill in roles and responsibilities as a leader and manager

15. Develop and effectively lead high performance teams and work groups

16. Effectively mentor, coach, and develop talent

17. Resolve and manage conflict productively

18. Understand and utilize clear and effective practices for hiring for excellence

19. Orient and retain employees and staff through effective management

20. Develop employees and staff through succession planning and professional development opportunities

21. Develop inclusive strategic plans for effectively managing and leading part-time staff

22. Be a studied, strategic, forward-thinking, and innovative leader who creates success through excellence in transformational leadership

23. Investigate and employ contemporary research and theory into organizational excellence and best practices in management and leadership

24. Develop and implement planning processes for strategic planning, scenario thinking, and disciplined decision making

25. Dissect processes and strategies for successfully implementing and managing change

26. Explore and develop specific constructs and behaviors of transformational leadership


Graduate Credit

The Chair Academy has formed partnerships to offer participants the opportunity to earn credits toward a graduate degree.  With successful completion of the Academy Program, see the options available for continued education.

Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC, Canada

Cai Don Program Manager - CLICK HERE TO EMAIL

Graduates of the Chair Academy, who are accepted into the RRU Masters of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Leadership (MAHEAL) program, can be granted credit completion for MA HEAL 530: Leading Educational Change in Higher Education Environments, should they make application to do so. The course carries a value of 3 credits. The course credit is not transferable to any other course within the MAHEAL program and applies exclusively to the MAHEAL program

Three (3) credits are offered through Royal Roads University






Historical Academy Class Pages

A historical archive of Academy Programs. If you are looking for specific info that cannot be found on the link, please email the Academy at leadership@chaireacademy.com.

If you are looking for an Academy Class Page prior to 2013-2014, Contact the Academy at leadership@chairacademy.com, and request the link. We will be glad to send it to you.


— 2020-2021 —




— 2016-2017 —



Northeast (NELDI)









— 2014-2015 —



Maryland (MILHE)







— 2013-2014 —


British Columbia