DID YOU KNOW? FCS Cultivates Aspiring Leaders in New Leadership Certification Program

  • Posted 10/4/2023

    Recruiting and retaining qualified teachers is a huge challenge for school districts across the county. However, leaders at Fulton County Schools (FCS) hope their Leadership Development Initiative, funded by federal dollars, will be an extra incentive to help attract and, more importantly, maintain top talent. The district’s application of the federal stimulus funding is a branded program called “Bridge to Success.” Leadership Development is a Bridge to Success initiative that offers a Leadership Certification Program for FCS educators to further their careers through a partnership between FCS and Georgia State University (GSU). This high-quality professional learning opportunity prepares participants for assistant principal, principal, and even superintendent roles, and is completely sponsored and paid for by “Bridge to Success” federal funds.

    The way the program works is GSU professors teach the classes at district locations, and the curriculum is aligned with Fulton County Schools best practices by using district leaders to teach alongside GSU staff. Accepted candidates are matched with mentors, and the district covers all participant tuition, textbooks, and materials. Participants must also make a three-year commitment to the district to take part in the certification cohorts.

    “With the increased need for building pipelines of leaders in Fulton County Schools, we have been able to fund competitive cohorts of employees seeking leadership certifications and an opportunity to grow in this county starting in August of 2021,” said Leadership Development Initiative Coordinator Tara McGee. McGee also says, “Investing in the growth and development our employees is a key lever to retaining highly qualified staff.”



    The Leadership Development Initiative offers multiple certification programs. The first program, Tier I, trains leaders interested in assistant principal roles, while Tier II focuses on principal positions and beyond. Tier I and Tier II are completed in three semesters: fall, spring, and summer. To date, 54 FCS staff members have received Tier I and Tier II leadership certifications, and at least 17 Tier I participants have received district promotions since the start of the program in 2021. Currently, 32 new staff members are participating in the third cohort of Tiers I and II, which began this fall. For more information on the Leadership Certification Program, contact Tara McGee, Coordinator, FCS Leadership Development.