Thursday, July 9, 2020
The RP Group

 Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Outcomes


Leading from the Middle (LFM) is a year-long leadership development program focused on developing and equipping middle leaders with skills and strategies to advance lasting reform efforts at their respective colleges through a project and problem-based learning model. Offered annually by the RP Group, this interactive, sustained professional development program:

  • Uses a project and problem-based learning model

  • Engages college teams comprised of faculty, administrators, staff, and researchers in the implementation of Guided Pathways

  • Includes face-to-face sessions, coaching designed to both support the leadership development of individual participants and assist college teams in project delivery

Curricular Topics:

  • Why Lead? The Case for Middle Leadership

  • Making the Case/Using Evidence

  • Understanding and Analyzing Institutional Cultures for Successful Leadership 

  • Communicating Successfully

  • Building Teams and Coalitions

  • Engaging Resistance

  • Using Design Tools (concept mapping, prototyping, case studies, and logic models)

  • Momentum Mapping

  • Taking Risks/Failing Successfully

  • Building a Data-Informed Campus Culture

 LFM Pedagogy

To facilitate team learning, LFM’s academies are located in a retreat setting for 2½ days enabling campus teams to engage with and learn from one another. We rely on collaborative activities such as gallery walks; consultancies; and role-alike discussions to enable participants to construct their own knowledge needed for developing effective strategies for implementation of Guided Pathways.

LFM’s approach to engaging community college colleagues in professional learning about leadership rests on a number of principles:

  • Smarts are in the room meaning that LFM does not rely on ‘experts’ to share their knowledge. Over the years LFM participants have shown over and over again the ability and capacity to analyze evidence, develop strategies and successfully implement them over time.

  • Professional learning is a collective effort. Colleges send teams to LFM and LFM expects that each individual in the team is a contributor and the most effective way to make a difference on campus is through collective action.

  • Values are a key component of successful leadership including a deep commitment to social justice for all peoples. Practice respect and compassion especially for those who resist reform and change.


The LFM outcomes are clustered in three major categories and include the following: 

Leadership Development
  • Develop leadership identity

  • Develop strategies to sustain and support leadership development 

Team Collaboration and Leadership
  • Create and sustain professional relationships in which peers share ideas and strategize together 

Leadership in the Context of a College Initiative
  • Engage with research literature

  • Apply research and evidence to make informed decisions that advance institutional redesign efforts

  • Strengthen capacity to prioritize and lead departmental, institutional and programmatic reforms through the process of evidence-based inquiry