ACE Agile Administrators Program


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Increasing agility to respond to the rapidly changing higher education landscape

What Is an Agile Administrator?

​Agile administrators lead innovation across their campus and rise to the challenge of their rapidly changing environment to meet the needs of students and the community. They are doers who put institutional strategy and values into action every day through rapid, iterative improvement.

​Who Can Become an Agile Administrator?

Senior leaders serving in a variety of roles, from any type of higher education institution, can benefit from professional learning through the Agile Administrators program. Learn at your own self-guided pace in the flow of your daily work, whether in five-minute modules or for an hour at a time. Join peers in learning circles and build a network of fellow leaders who are committed to advancing knowledge around agile innovation.

Agile Administrator Competencies

Effective agile administrators share six competencies. Every component of the Agile Administrators program is focused on helping you develop, grow, and document these capabilities. Competencies can be mastered in any order, as your work dictates or as your schedule allows.

Why Become an Agile Administrator?

Innovation Leadership Skill Development

Strengthen your ability to rapidly innovate through professional learning that fits into the flow of your work, yielding insights that you can apply immediately. Develop the skills to be more agile in your leadership practice and accelerate the transformation of your institution in the service of student success and equity using agile and lean mindsets, tools, and techniques. Learn to confidently lead teams and build coalitions that tap creativity and empathy through design thinking, shifting into lean startup mode to learn more, earlier in the process of implementing new initiatives while staying aligned with the governance structures and core values of your institution.

Build a Network of Peers

Build deep and sustained connections among the new generation of leaders poised to transfor​m higher education—peers who understand the day-to-day challenges that you face. Connect with a trusted cohort of fellow innovators who seek to more powerfully lead agile innovation on their campuses and who can understand you, emotionally support you, and help work through challenges with you. Hear their stories, get recommendations, and share ideas.

Ways to Grow as an Agile Administrator

The ACE Agile Administrators program supports your professional growth in three ways: learning pathways, learning circles, and a microcredential assessment.

Learni​​ng Path​ways

  • Learn from 61 self-paced, multimedia modules that explore key mindsets, strategies, and techniques for leading agile innovation. Explore a full list of modules.
  • Learn in the flow of your work when you have time and in any order—pathways are not sequential.
  • Integrated activities allow you to deepen your learning through extended attention.
An example of an Agile Administrators learning module video. 

An example of an Agile Administrators learning module video. ​Click here to see the full resolution im​​age.​​

 Learning Pathway Components

Each of the six competencies has a learning pathway. Each pathway includes:

  • Ten self-paced, five- to eight-minute modules that combine:
    • Animated explainer videos and interactive graphics
    • Interviews with campus leaders and top experts
  • Two optional activities that take about 45 minutes to complete
  • An annotated guide to curated resources and learning experiences, continuously updated to reflect what has been most valuable to participants

The full curriculum​, including the 61 modules and optional activities, will take approximately 15 hours to complete.

Below, an example of an activity using Mural. Click here to see the ful​l-resolution image.



​Registration for the ACE Agile Administ​rator Microcredential is currently closed. If you are currently working toward the microcredential, please visit the Agile Administrators Microcredential page for details on the portofolio review process, badging, and more.

Learn Mor​e
Contributing Experts

Darren Cambridge

Jeff Cornwall
Professor of Entrepreneurship, Belmont University, and CEO, Entrepreneurial Mind LLC

James DeVaney
Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Founding Executive Director for the Center for Academic Innovation, University of Michigan

Kristen Eshleman
Vice President for Library and Information Technology Services, Trinity College

Lisa Ferris-McCann
Director, Academic Integrity and Quality, Learning Evaluations, American Council on Education

Susan Grajek
Vice President for Partnerships, Communities, and Research, EDUCAUSE

Jean Hammond
General Partner, LearnLaunch Accelerator

Robin Matross Helms
Vice President for Membership and Educational Services, Association of Community College Trustees

Sherri Lind Hughes

Jo-Ann Rolle
Dean, School of Business, Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York

Louis Soares
Chief Learning and Innovation Officer, American Council on Education

Richard Staisloff
Founder and Senior Partner, rpk GROUP

Beverly Wenger-Trayner
Social Learning Researcher and Consultant, Wenger-Trayner, LCC

Etienne Wenger-Trayner
Social Learning Researcher and Consultant, Wenger-Trayner, LCC​

Linda Baer
Senior Consultant, Linda L. Baer Consultant

Scott Barker
Vice President, Student Advisement, Southern New Hampshire University

MJ Bishop
Associate Vice Chancellor and Director, Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland

Marie Cini
Acting Chief Executive Officer, ED2Work

Lauren Collier​
Consultant, Higher Education Strategy, Vantage Point

Terah Crews
Chief Executive Officer, ReUp Education​

Anne Dahlman
Interim Associate Provost and Dean of Global Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Sarah DeMark
Vice President, Program Development, Western Governors University

Tristan Denley
Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer University, System of Georgia

David Donnelly
Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Muhlenberg College

Janyce Fadden
Director of Strategic Engagement, University of North Alabama

Brian Fleming
Associate Vice Chancellor, Learning Ecosystem Development, Northeastern University

Tim Gilmour
President Emeritus, Wilkes University

Seth Green
Dean, Graham School of Continuing and Library Studies, University of Chicago

Lisa Guion Jones
Professor of Higher Education, University of Central Florida
ACE Women’s Network of Florida State Chair

Katie Herschede
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff, Widener University

Sean Hobson
Assistant Vice President and Chief Design Officer for EdPlus, Arizona State University

Elizabeth Holcombe
Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate,​​ University of Southern California

Adrianna Kezar
Dean's Professor of Leadership, Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education, and Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education, ​University of Southern California

Aisha Lowe
Vice Chancellor, Educational Services and Support, California Community Colleges ​

Alexander Osterwalder
Co-founder, Strategizer

Guillermo Martinez
Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Austin Community College District

Liz Nilsen
Associate Director, Agile Strategy Lab, University of North Alabama

Donald Norris
President and Founder, Strategic Initiatives

Matthew Rascoff
Special Advisor to the Provost for Education Outreach & Digital Innovation, Stanford University

Timothy Renick
Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor of Religious Studies, Georgia State University

Jo-Ann Rolle
Dean, School of Business, Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York

Samantha Sengel
Vice President, Advancement and Enrollment Strategy, Central New Mexico Community College

Nancy Shapiro
Associate Vice Chancellor and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for P-20 Education,​ University System of Maryland

Christopher Washington
Provost and Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs, Franklin University

Marie Y. Williams
Vice President for Human Resources, Brown University​​​

Con​​tact Us

We are not currently running Learning Circles or accepting registrations to the Learning Pathways.

If you have any questions please email us at​


Generous support provided by 

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  Charles Koch Foundation