The Washington Executive Leadership Academy (WELA) is an exemplary leadership program created by,
and for, our community and technical college system. WELA is a one-year program designed to help
current college exempt employees compete for, and succeed in, executive positions in Washington State.
WELA assists participants in increasing their visibility and connections within the two-year college
system while building their system knowledge and leadership capacity.
The Academy combines in-person experiences with on-line work, reading, and campus-based learning
experiences. College leaders brief the WELA class on important system and institutional issues and
procedures. The WELA class takes part in community and technical college system-wide conferences and
meetings, as well as improves their resume writing, application strategies and interview skills
through direct feedback on their current performance in these areas. Their background and readiness
for a Dean, vice-president or presidential position will be assessed, and an individual plan developed
to fill in gaps in skills and experience.
The Leadership Academy's in-person sessions take place four times during the year, beginning with an
intensive one-week opener in July. Two-day sessions are scheduled adjacent to the fall and winter
Association conferences (usually in November and February).
The closing three-day session is scheduled
in early July, overlapping with the next year's group. Throughout the program participants engage
in on-line learning, discussion groups, and carry out personalized projects.
Mentors are assigned to each WELA participant. By working with a mentor who is a successful leader
within the Washington community and technical college system, WELA members get individualized insight
into the day-to-day challenges of the position to which they aspire. They also gain practical skills
which enhance their job performance in their current position.
Participants should expect to attend three Association conferences (scheduled in summer, fall, and
winter, for an additional five days away from campus) and to devote an average of 1-2 hours per week to
the program and between sessions. Additionally, participants are encouraged to attend at least one
meeting of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
The Trustees Association provides a
reduced-rate registration fee for their three annual conferences. The Fall Legislative Plenary
Session and the Winter Legislative Contact Conference can be particularly instructive to WELA