Cohort-Based Leadership Development

Empowering leaders with the tools, resources, and community to transform their leadership.

Marshall Leadership Institute’s unique cohort-based programming accelerates the development of powerful leadership skills. Our cohorts are designed to serve leaders along their career journey — from the moment a teacher has an interest in exploring an entry-level Assistant Principal position through the seasoned leaders looking for a space to continue applying theory to practice. Our program is an immersive and dynamic problem-based model that exposes  leaders to authentic leadership scenarios, allowing them to cultivate practical skills and become better equipped to address complex challenges. Ultimately, Marshall Leadership Institute alumni lead with authenticity, harnessing their powerful leadership skills to drive transformative change within their school systems.

The Pathway to Effective Leadership

LaShante Scott

Assistant Principal, Elmhurst Unified Middle School

“I love teaching, but sometimes I want to explore how else I can make an impact. When I’m in these groups and practicing these skills, I feel like I really could make a really good school leader. I’ve just never been exposed to what [principals] actually do…As we were practicing the teacher observation in our groups today, I was just thinking: I can do this.”

Cohort-Based Learning

Looking for targeted support for your schools’ current leaders? Marshall Leadership Institute offers a series of cohort-based learning experiences for aspiring and current school leaders to support their entire career journey.

Cohort Offerings

  • Designed for experienced teachers who aspire to school leadership roles. Participants learn what school leadership entails, identify the “why”  behind their desire to become school leaders, and decide whether leadership is the right path for them.

    “I am thankful for my time in the Emerging Leaders cohort this year. As a teacher leader who wanted more experience before transitioning into a formal leadership role, the Emerging Leaders cohort provided ample opportunities to practice new skills such as leading teams, coaching teachers, and facilitating conversations with stakeholders. I would recommend Emerging Leaders to any teacher who is considering a leadership role in the future.”

    — Caitlin Dietz-Cunanan, Assistant Principal, Impact Public Schools

  • Designed for new Deans, Directors, and Assistant Principals. Participants make the crucial shift from being a teacher to a manager who guides and inspires their school team. Programming is focused on building the tools, tactics, and skills needed to handle the most common challenges school leaders face in their first few years in leadership roles, including how to triage, prioritize, and persevere.

    “As someone who is new to the Washington state charter sector, this fellowship has been a great opportunity for me to connect with leaders at other public  charter schools across the state and to better understand the unique landscape here. I’ve appreciated the non-judgemental space to engage with folks who share similar daily experiences with me but can give me objective feedback because we come from different school contexts. The dialogue we engage in as a cohort always gives me new ideas and perspectives to bring back to my school.”

    —Tim Tran, Dean of STEM at Rainier Prep Public Charter School

  • Designed for school leaders who want to advance into senior leadership positions (e.g. Principal, Executive Director, and C-level roles) within their school, district, or network. Seasoned leaders develop the skills necessary to build the capacity of their own leadership teams to support teachers and team members.  Participants enhance, refine, and improve their leadership practices, moving from a position of competence to excellence.

    “Marshall Leadership Institute has given me the knowledge and practical experience to feel confident in any opportunity that requires leadership. The tools, strategies, and insights I received during this program have made an immediate and positive impact on the ways in which I have approached various situations. Leadership isn’t just a role, it’s a life skill.”

    —Ferdinand Orbino, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, Summit Atlas High School

  • Designed exclusively for principals and school system leaders who are ready to transform their school, district, or network. Participants focus on building skills to develop and implement scalable systems and structures to realize their organization’s mission and vision. This is for leaders who find themselves in a transformational moment, where meaningful change for their school system or network is possible with the right skills and community behind them.

    “This cohort has provided me with the opportunity to learn through the perspectives of others, problem solve, and connect through common struggles. I needed this space. It kept me grounded and reminded me I was in this work with a broader community focused on the same purpose of serving young people most in need.”

    —Samiha Carroll, Principal at RVLA

Leading with Confidence

Akiya Minniefield

Assistant Principal, STRIVE Prep Montbello

“This program offers new and up-and-coming leaders a space for growth, feedback, and achievement. Through different scenarios, we were able to dive into what the role of a school leader truly entails. This is not an ordinary fellowship program. Bonds are intentionally created, feedback is valuable and constructive, and the time was well spent from beginning to end. As I move into a new leadership role at my school I believe that without this program I would have continued to box myself in. After completing the cohort, I feel more confident and ready for the road that lies ahead.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Participants meet one day a month from September through June. All cohort sessions are held virtually.

  • The core of our model is Problem-Based Learning. While we will spend time connecting and discussing reading, much of your experience will be applying your learning by collaboratively working with others to solve a problem you will likely face in a school leadership setting. All cohort participants contribute their experiences and knowledge to create solutions, simulate scenarios, and provide honest, actionable, and timely feedback to each other to grow our leadership skills.

  • Marshall Leadership Institute’s intensive problem-based learning practice exposes leaders to actual problem scenarios encountered in early leadership positions and allows leaders to build practical skills. Leaders read, discuss, understand, and apply learning to contemporary school dilemmas and real-world school leadership situations. Leaders establish their own leadership styles, practice high-stakes decision-making in authentic school contexts, and reflect on their experiences and growth. This performance-rich learning cycle, in turn, prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of leadership ahead.

  • We offer four cohort tracks that support emerging and current leaders through their entire career journey: Emerging Leaders, New Leaders, Aspiring Principals, and System Leaders. Each Cohort Track offers:

    • A diverse group of participants, typically 16-20 people
    • Expert facilitation by current and former school leaders
    • Development of an annual personalized growth plan
    • Relevant and timely professional development readings and resources
    • Personal journey space to increase self-awareness
    • Deep discussion and dialogue
    • Engaging problem-based learning scenarios, case studies, and simulations
    • Community support in and beyond the cohort sessions
    • A space to practice leadership, take risks, and seek immediate feedback
  • You will be expected to complete reflections on your learning between sessions. Additionally, you can expect to read approximately 150 pages between sessions to prepare for the upcoming discussions and problem-based learning experiences.

  • The program is fully virtual, so you can participate from anywhere. The curriculum is designed to be equally applicable to elementary, middle, and high school contexts and focuses on coaching, capacity-building, and team building skills. We have worked with teachers from all different subject areas and all have found the cohort experience useful.

  • Yes, this program offers 10 Continuing Education Credits through the Teachers College of San Joaquin.

  • No credential is offered through this program. However, what you learn in the cohort experience will support you in taking the CPACE, which is a testing pathway to a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential in California. Many of our alumni have taken and passed this test. Other participants have used the exposure provided by this program to apply for more traditional credential programs.

  • Yes, we have a number of alumni who joined this program as new school leaders and found it very valuable and immediately applicable. We’d love to have you join.

  • We would be happy to connect you with previous cohort members and/or speak with you directly. Please reach out to Greg Ponikvar at for more information.

Explore Our Offerings

Launched by and for school leaders, Marshall Leadership Institute helps unlock the teacher-to-school leader pipeline for public charter school communities across the United States.​

  • MS_Icon_Orange

    Pipeline Development

    Ready to build a sustainable leadership pipeline that cultivates powerful school leadership from within your community? Marshall Leadership Institute partners with school communities to build a pipeline of transformational leaders from your community.

    Learn More
  • MS_Icon_Orange

    Personalized Coaching

    Facing a challenge and looking for responsive support from an experienced coach? Marshall Leadership Institute offers one-on-one personalized coaching to help leaders tackle the daily challenges of running a school.

    Learn More
  • MS_Icon_Orange

    Our Leadership Pedagogy

    What underpins our approach to leadership? Marshall Leadership Institute offers specialized programming for school and system leaders at every career stage.

    Learn More