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AASA, University of Southern California Team Up to Train Urban Superintendents

AASA, the School Superintendents Association, and the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education will launch an urban superintendents academy this fall, with an inaugural class of 20 current and prospective school chiefs.

The goal of the AASA/USC Urban Superintendents Academy is to diversify the nation's superintendent ranks. Currently, less than 5 percent of school superintendents are racial minorities. The AASA/USC collaboration will feature online coursework designed to help participants lead "existing and emerging urban environments across the United States" and gain access to mentors who are current and former urban superintendents.

In February, AASA announced a similar partnership with Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C.

"Minority children need champions," AASA executive director Daniel Domenech said in a statement. "The resources generated by USC Rossier and Howard will be invaluable as we prepare aspiring superintendents for urban environments."

AASA's partnerships with Howard and USC are the latest specialized training programs designed to help prepare educators to manage the complex demands of running urban school systems.

"USC Rossier's mission to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally, and globally is well served by this new partnership," Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher said in a statement.

Organizers expect to post applications materials soon on AASA's website. Until then, applicants may contact Rossier School of Education program administrator Colleen Dietz at [email protected]

Other colleges, including Harvard University, have previously offered specialized training programs for aspiring urban superintendents.

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