Program Overview

For the Innovative District Leadership Academy (IDLA), USC Rossier School of Education has joined with Digital Advisers to create a fully online, 11-month program where groups of educational leaders from districts nationwide come together to solve problems in collaboration with peers, faculty and thought leaders from education, technology, and business.

The primary project for the program requires district teams to identify, analyze, and define a problem or propose an initiative for their district and to collaborate as innovative change agents to create a solution to that problem. The focus on actual practice maximizes value for participants. Exposure to others’ capstone projects multiplies possibilities for a wide range of innovative solutions and initiatives.

Dr. Holly Edds, Assistant Superintendent of Orcutt Union School District describes the durable value of participation in the program:

After successfully completing our 11-month online program, participants will be eligible to receive the USC Innovative District Leader Academy Certificate. To earn this certificate, participants will need to demonstrate collaborative problem-solving skills and apply a framework for approaching any challenge, then present their capstone project at the culminating event.

While technology is a core element in the academy, and key to achieving educational equity, it is not the primary focus of our curriculum. The academy focuses on innovative team thinking to effect meaningful change. No background in educational technology is needed to participate in the academy.

Dr. Maritza Koeppen, Superintendent/Principal, Vallecitos School District, talks about joining the program as someone without an educational technology background

Randal Bassett, Superintendent of Schools at the Fontana Unified School District, describes participating in the program:

Program Details:

Entirely online, bimonthly two-hour synchronous sessions, plus asynchronous materials
11 months of coursework with a capstone event in the final month
Approximately 10-20 hours of work expected per month
Program fee is $6,000 per participant ($500 of which is non-refundable deposit)
Participants will earn the Innovative District Leadership Academy Certificate upon successful completion of the program from the USC Rossier School of Education
Open to all educational leaders, regardless of technical knowledge