Leadership Development

Career Academy Leaders' Collaborative (CALC)

This innovative leadership program is designed for educators and business and community partners who are looking to hone and develop their leadership skills within the career academy model.

Program Overview

The Collaborative consists of a year-long fellowship built on three in-person workshops and ongoing virtual support. Experienced career academy leaders develop expertise in the National Standards of Practice (NSOP) and leadership strategies to advance organizational change that supports academy implementation. Career academy leaders gain a deeper understanding of the NSOP and how to implement them with equity and fidelity; how to apply leadership techniques that include adaptive leadership, storytelling, and systems change management; and participate in an ongoing community of practice focused on support, resource sharing, and research-based best practices in career academy leadership.


Participants gain:

  • An NSOP-focused leadership action plan for your role at your school or district
  • An academy-tested implementation toolbox
  • A story about their academy(ies) that can be communicated to different audiences for different purposes
  • A community of practice among their peers  


First established in 2017, the Career Academy Leaders’ Collaborative is designed and led by the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) in partnership with the Education Development Center (EDC). NCAC and EDC share a joint mission of empowering and equipping students to succeed in college, careers, and the future economic landscape. Both organizations advance professional learning for leaders to enact transformational and sustainable change within their schools and communities.

Intended Participants

The Collaborative is designed for educators and partners who have some familiarity with the career academy model. Registration of leadership teams is encouraged; these could include teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, school and district administrators, and advisory board members.


It is expected that all participating Fellows will attend all three in-person meetings in their entirety. Travel should be scheduled to allow for full participation.

How to Apply

Each year, NCAC accepts a limited number of registrants for each cohort. Registration for the 2024-2025 cohort will open on March 1, 2024.

Cost: $4,550 includes all materials and registration for the NCAC National Conference

Mainland CALC 2024 Cohort 8 – Dates and Locations

Meeting 1, Omaha, NE: Wednesday, September  11th, from 2 p.m. to Friday, September 13th, at 3 p.m.

Meeting 2, Chicago, IL: (Pre-Conference—CALC Registration includes the complete Conference registration): Saturday, November 16, at 2 p.m. through Monday, November 18, at 2 p.m. 

Meeting 3, Manatee, Florida (Date TBD)



HI CALC 2024 Cohort – Dates and Locations

Meeting 1. TBD

Meeting 2, Pearl City High School, Thursday, February 20th & Friday, February 21st, 2025, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm.

Meeting 3. TBD




Reach out to Connie Majka, Director of Leadership Programs

Student Ambassador Training

Teach students to showcase your school while building confidence and leadership skills

Student Ambassador Leadership Training (Elementary, Middle, High School) – Word of mouth is the most effective and efficient way to communicate the benefits of career-connected education – and there is no better way to employ this strategy than through a Student Brand Ambassador Program. NCAC’s Student Brand Ambassador Certification Program ensures that your Ambassadors have the training they need to successfully represent their Academies, High School and district. NCAC delivers the training at your school making sure the students are prepared in their own environment and in a cost efficient manner. Choose from a customized one, two, or three-day training package.


Reach out to Dr. Kelly Henderson, Director of Professional Learning

Free Resource

Download our Free Academy Rubrics

Get a jump start in evaluating your current standing and potential areas for improvement.