Dean Gittens Honored as Deans for Impact Academy Fellow

Dean Gittens joins an elite group of 24 educational leaders who will work together for the next year to create transformative change in educator preparation.

Carol Ann Gittens, PhD, Dean of the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary’s College of California, was recently named as an Impact Academy Fellow by Deans for Impact. 

Founded in 2015, Deans for Impact is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that every child is taught by a well-prepared teacher. The work of Deans for Impact includes connecting with leaders of educator preparation programs, helping them transform their programs, sustaining these transformations over time, and influencing policy that affects their work. In designing learning experiences, the organization aims to create inclusive and collaborative spaces that address participants’ real problems of practice and provide concrete examples while recognizing the importance of local context.

Dean Gittens joins an elite group of 24 educational leaders who will work together for the next year to create transformative change in educator preparation. Together, fellows will ask the big questions, forming a collaborative network to workshop challenges in the field and to seek solutions. In the midst of unprecedented upheaval in education, Impact Academy offers an opportunity for leaders to sharpen their skills through self-reflection, collaborative learning sessions, and one-on-one coaching. 

“We believe that transformative leadership is the cornerstone of an educator-preparation program that continually works to prepare more effective teachers,” said Benjamin Riley, Founder and Executive Director of Deans for Impact. “We’re thrilled to welcome 24 such leaders into the Impact Academy fellowship, and are excited to support these leaders as they embark on efforts to improve their programs and the field.”

While other leadership experiences focus on nuts-and-bolts training for budgeting or accreditation, Impact Academy fellows define strategies for instructional improvement grounded in equity and learning science. Fellows will participate in monthly virtual sessions with regular learning modules and ongoing leadership coaching from Deans for Impact members.

Dean Gittens will join Impact Academy’s sixth cohort, its largest and most diverse to date. Each cohort is selected through an intensive application process. Deans for Impact is committed to reflecting the broad diversity of programs that prepare new educators in the United States. Fellows in this cohort hail from 17 states, from Alaska and to New York. They represent public and private universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), and experiential programs. Collectively, these institutions serve over 10,000 future teachers annually.