Tuesday, December 1, 2020
The RP Group
Upcoming Academy Calendar and Overview


Leading from the Middle (LFM) is a leadership development program focused on developing and equipping middle leaders with skills and strategies to advance lasting reform efforts at their respective colleges aimed at closing achievement gaps for underrepresented students.

LFM uses a project and problem-based learning model, to engage college teams comprised of community college faculty, administrators, staff, and researchers in collaborative learning to explore and apply effective strategies to the development of a project centered on closing opportunity and outcomes gaps while at the same time honing their individual and collaborative leadership skills.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all 2020 LFM academies will be transitioned to a virtual modality. To facilitate learning, via online platforms like Zoom and Canvas, campus teams will participate in synchronous and asynchronous activities to engage with and learn from one another. In addition, an assigned coach will help guide each team and provide targeted support.

For more information or questions, please send an email to Ireri Valenzuela or Debra Polak, LFM Co-directors.

 2020 Academy Themes

The focus of the three statewide and Far North 2020 LFM academies has been adjusted to respond to the increased need for leadership development to support and enable LFM participants to lead effectively in this time of crisis. To ensure LFM participants' do not let the current sense of "urgency" overshadow the need to keep the middle and long-term needs of students in mind, LFM teams will continue to explore how to ground their college's instructional and student support redesign efforts in the student experience. The Six Success Factors — directed, focused, nurtured, connected, engaged, and valued — identified by students as necessary to their success in the RP Group's Student Support (Re)defined Study, will continue to be used as a framework as a way for LFM teams to use the student experience as a powerful driver to advocate for and advance institutional transformation.

During the program, participants hone their abilities to:

  • Develop and build on their personal leadership identity

  • Apply critical inquiry skills to decision-making and communication

  • Engage resistance, build coalitions, and win buy-in to drive institutional-based reforms

  • Apply planning and design approaches to promote coherent strategies among efforts to improve student success including Guided Pathways, equity, and student progress, retention, and completion initiatives

  • Situate institutional reform efforts in the student experience

 2020 LFM Academy Calendar

All Statewide LFM Academies have been moved online and will resume on June 5, 2020 and continue through the end of the Fall 2020 semester.

The Far North Academy will begin in September and run through the Fall 2020 semester.