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Executive Development Program

The “Executive Development Program” (EDP), developed by the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL), provides professional development that is blended, inclusive, and recognizes the needs of adult learners to be active participants in their own learning.  Each participant engages in on-line instruction; attends classroom sessions; reads professional literature; and conducts research through an action learning plan.  Through cohort discussions, small group work, and simulations, participants develop a strong network of like-minded professionals who pursue the best plans of action for school improvement and the academic achievement of all students.


The program builds upon the leadership skills found in top business and military programs; provides a strong foundation in the best practices of standards-based education; and gives participants the ability to identify and coach towards strong instruction in the content areas. The emphasis is on the role of principal and other school leaders as strategic thinkers, instructional leaders, and creators of a just, fair and caring culture in which all students meet high standards. EDP promotes the ability of school leaders to competently and effectively set direction for teachers, support their staffs, and design an efficient organization.

Program Focal Points


  •   21st-century context and urgency

  •   Vision/mission in which all children learn

  •   Strategic thinking and decision-making

  •   Standards-based instructional systems

  •   Principles of learning, teaching, and curriculum

  •   Leadership in literacy, math, and science

  •   Coaching and feedback

  •   Promotion of professional learning

  •   Instructional leadership and team-building

  •   Ethical leadership for a just, fair and caring   community

  •   Change leadership

VFEL has nine faculty members who are certified to deliver the Executive Development Program for school divisions individually or as regions throughout Virginia.

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