The Graduate School of Education will receive $299,313 annually for three years from the New York State Department of Education to help train tomorrow’s school leaders.

The grant, distributed in partnership with the Wallace Foundation, is part of a plan to develop a cohesive school leadership system in New York State. GSE is one of six institutions of higher education in the state to receive the award.

The grant will be used to prepare the next generation of city principals, said James Hennessy, Ph.D., dean of GSE. The funding will enable GSE to create a rigorous, 12-month program that will provide authentic clinical experience for future leaders.

Substantial tuition support will be provided for applicants to obtain a master’s in administration and supervision.

Recruiting will begin this September, and the first cohort of 15 students will commence next January, said Anita Batisti, Ph.D., associate dean of GSE. John Lee, Ed.D., clinical associate professor, will coordinate the administration of the grant, with support from the Center for Educational Partnerships.

Candidates for the program will be selected from teachers already working full-time who are ready to be leaders, Batisti said. In addition to taking 30 class credits at Fordham, the students will do a clinical internship of 420 hours.

“It’s a jam-packed year,” she said.

An integral aspect of the program is the “teacher recovery time” that is provided.  Batisti explained that the grant will fund a substitute teacher one day per week so that working teachers may participate in the internship.

“Because we are very cognizant about children learning, it will be a long-term sub,” Batisti said. “So this way the continuity of the classroom will be enhanced, not diminished.”

As part of the program, GSE has partnered with two high-need school districts, Community School District 4 in Manhattan and Community School District 10 in the Bronx, one of the largest in the city with 50,000 students. Both districts have very large populations of English language learners.

GSE also has partnered with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA), which will provide mentoring and conduct workshops in addition to the classes taught by Fordham faculty.

A partnership with Fordham College at Lincoln Center will give potential school leaders extra support in literacy and math.

While helping to develop future leaders and enhance New York schools, the grant will also bring in more students to GSE, Hennessy said.

Each year of the grant, the program will accept another cohort of 15. “At the end of three years, 45 people will become certified school building leaders,” Batisti said.