The Middle Leadership Academy is a year-long professional development opportunity that brings together campus-based teams of CSU faculty, student affairs staff, researchers, and students in a collaborative and supportive environment to work on common issues related to student learning, engagement, progression and completion.

2021-22 Middle Leadership academy - Student success Network in the California state university

We are creating a space for evidence-based, collaborative learning and leadership development.

Grounded in a problem-based learning model, the Academy motivates participants to “lead from the middle” as they explore and apply strategies that focus on closing opportunity and outcomes gaps.

We are currently requesting proposals on equity-specific topics such as re-engaging and re-enrolling underserved students as well as promoting equitable practices and reducing DFW rates.

Learning outcomes:

Equity. Consider ways (in)equity manifests on campus.

Knowledge. Apply research-based evidence to advance equitable student success efforts on campus.

Leadership. Build your sense of agency to lead equity-driven change.

Relationships. Build relationships with colleagues at your campus and from across the CSU who are involved in campus-level efforts supporting equitable student success.

2022-23 Academy

The CSU Student Success Network invites cross‐functional teams to apply for the 2022-23 Middle Leadership Academy. Through the lens of educational equity, the Academy focuses on developing the skills and relationships of middle leaders so they can make meaningful change on their campuses.

Campus teams are encouraged to conceptualize innovative strategies to enhance student success, especially for culturally diverse students. Teams may bring their own specific topic that centers on issues of equity. We invite proposals on topics such as re-engaging and re-enrolling underserved students as well as promoting equitable practices and reducing DFW rates.

Campus teams should include up to 6 people with diverse roles, including faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Only one team per campus will be selected to participate. Please identify a team lead to complete and submit the application on behalf of your team.

Participation in the Middle Leadership Academy is free, and all travel, food, and lodging costs are reimbursed by the CSU Student Success Network. Travel must be approved and arranged in accordance with each campus’ policies and guidelines.

How to Apply for the Academy

Interested teams should identify a team lead that will submit an application on behalf of the team. The application will ask for each team member’s name and contact information and it includes the following questions:

  • What is the main issue you are trying to address? What existing evidence illustrates the issue you are trying to address? (120 word maximum)
  • What are your team’s objectives for participating in the 2022-23 Middle Leadership Academy? (120 word maximum)
  • How do your team’s objectives seek to address educational equity at your campus? (120 word maximum)
  • How do your team’s objectives support or relate to leadership development? (120 word maximum)

In addition, teams will need to attach a Letter of Support signed by the appropriate cabinet-level administrator. This could be from a Provost for cross-college topics or from a Vice President of Student Affairs for topics primarily housed in Student Affairs. In many cases, a collaborative letter signed by both the Provost and the VP of Student Affairs may be most appropriate. 

Our 2022-23 application period is now closed. We will update this page once the 2023-24 application period opens next spring. 


Learn more about the Academy in our informational webinar here:

Want to know more?

Ioakim Boutakidis

Have more questions? Contact Academy Director:
Ioakim Boutakidis


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