Spots Still Available for ACE Learning Circles
September 14, 2022

​This fall, ACE is leading six learning circles, through which senior higher education leaders gather weekly for six weeks to help each other drive their work forward on a critical topic, and there is still time to register. The learning circles, which start the week of September 26, focus on supporting mental health on campus, sharing leadership for equity, and agile and human-centered innovation.

Learning circles are facilitated small groups of campus leaders who work together online to deepen their abilities to create transformative change on campus. Unlike traditional workshops in which a few experts teach a larger group of attendees, learning circles engage in social learning, where all participants contribute and grow their distinctive expertise. Through this process, participants mutually grapple with the question, “How do I make a difference?"  

Jo-Ann Rolle, dean, school of business, Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York, and a former learning circle participant, said that as an administrator, she was expected to have “the answer" in most of the groups she had been a part of, but her learning circle experience was different.

“What made me comfortable was I knew I didn't have to have 'the answer', and I knew that others had other experiences," Rolle said. “And together we could walk a path in this journey and be okay with partial answers and looking towards finding better answers for our futures together." 

The two Sharing Leadership for Equity Learning Circles will apply key concepts from the shared equity leadership model to build shared values and practices necessary to achieve their respective diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Participants in the Supporting Mental Health on Campus Learning Circle will use experiences and intimate knowledge in this area to help one another identify strategies, approaches, and goals for progress. The Agile Administrator Learning Circles will use concepts and examples from the Agile Administrators program and connect senior leaders who are guided by a transformational vision of higher education.

Learning circle members, who have come from 132 colleges and universities so far, help each other grapple with their most pressing challenges and opportunities, access curated resources to apply on campus and inform conversations within their circles, and build a powerful network of peers with diverse experiences and backgrounds on whom they can lean in the future.  ​

Any campus leader committed to engaging with peers and creating change is encouraged to join. Activities are designed to build the group's capacity to continue to learn together after the original period over which members commit to participate, and many circles elect to continue meeting. In addition, nearly a quarter of ACE learning circle members have gone on to contribute to additional learning circles as either members or facilitators. 

“Every single one of us in every circle—I was in multiple—suggested that 'we want more of this,'" said Cameron McCoy, provost, Shenandoah University. “And that to me is just really incredible and very powerful, because you don't find that in a lot of other leadership and administrative development programs."  

In addition to these learning circles, ACE will lead a Preventing Gender-Based Harassment and Violence learning circle, which starts this November.

To learn more about and register for the six learning circles beginning September, click here. Because spots are limited, interested campus leaders are encouraged to register soon.

ACE Learning Circles

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