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Past Cohorts

Past Cohorts


NELA recruits and rigorously selects exemplary teachers with high leadership potential for participation for its context specific field-based preparation program designed to develop 21st Century school leaders for rural, high- need, hard-to-staff schools in northeastern North Carolina. At the end of the two-year program, participants will earn a school principal license (certification) and a Master degree of School Administration. Graduates make a three-year post degree commitment to lead high-need schools in Northeast North Carolina. Graduates sign a promissory note for the amount of the tuition fellowship with the provison that one-third of the obligation will be forgiven at the end of each year of subsequent employment in the partner districts. If the graduate fails to obtain a leadership position (because of lack of openings or other considerations), a tuition forgiveness deferment will be enacted. The original NELA program included Cohorts I-III.

NELA Principal Residency Placements and Mentors

NELA 2.0

NELA 2.0 brings together a land-grant university and a consortium of 13 rural, high-need school districts to increase student achievement by preparing and retaining assistant principals and principals to serve as instructional leaders in the consortium’s high-need schools. The project is called NELA 2.0 because it builds upon the successes of other funded projects among the partners and is part of a comprehensive initiative to increase student achievement in northeast North Carolina (NC). NELA 2.0 builds on, refines, and expands the work of an the original NELA Innovative Leaders Academy. The new NELA 2.0 program will include professional development for current principals and creates a succession plan for the Northeast.

NELA 2.0 Post Degree Support


NELA-DST is focused on both preparing future leaders and sustaining and supporting those who are already in leadership positions in SIG schools. NELA-DST’s goals include specialized preparation, purposeful hiring of the best leaders for SIG schools, on-going support for SIG leaders, and retention of effective leaders.


NELA Executive Coaches

North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD) Transforming Principal Preparation (TPP)


In order to promote the preparation of effective school leaders, The North Carolina General Assembly established the Transforming Principal Preparation (TPP) grant program, which is administered by the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD). The following programs are receive NCASLD’s TPP funding at NC State: The Johnston Principal Leadership Academy (JPLA), Wake Principal Leadership Academy (WPLP), NCSU’s NC Principal Leadership Academy, Durham Principal Leadership Academy (DPLA), and the North Carolina Leadership Academy (NCLA). Click on the photos of these cohorts below to learn more about these cohorts. The Fellows in the NCASLD TPP cohorts underwent a rigorous selection process, NC State’s Candidate Assessment Day. They participate in a tailored curriculum during the first year of the program, including specialized trainings, conferences, and school visits. Then, they engage in a year-long Principal Residency, with guidance of high quality principal mentors and experienced executive coaches. During the Principal Residency, Fellows are required to document experience with the North Carolina Standards for School Executives in a Digital Leadership Portfolio.