The Teaching Trust Aspiring Leaders Program prepares future school leaders to drive sustainable academic improvement in complex urban schools.


The Aspiring Leaders Program is a rigorous, competency-based program that prepares existing educators to grow into transformational urban school leaders. In year one, Aspiring Leaders take courses at Southern Methodist University’s Annette Caldwell School of Education and Human Development, taught by SMU faculty and Teaching Trust staff, while working full-time in their current role as educators. In the second year, Aspiring Leaders serve in an on-campus leadership role for a Residency year, where they can begin to implement strategies and skills in real-time as coaches, assistant principals, or principals. At the end of year two, Residents earn their M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Urban School Leadership from SMU and complete their principal certification. Following the two-year master’s degree, Aspiring Leaders receive one year of tailored coaching support from Teaching Trust in their first year of serving as principals. Aspiring Leaders empowers educators to build an aspirational school culture while supporting high-quality instruction in every classroom. 


The Priority Deadline is November 9th, 2018, and the Final Deadline is February 15th, 2019. Start your application now or visit the SMU website for more information. Or, nominate someone today!



  • Earn an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with Urban School Specialization from Southern Methodist University

  • Potential to earn probationary Principal Certification after one year

  • Engage in one-on-one coaching and feedback from a former urban school leader to accelerate your professional growth

  • Participate in a year-long practice-based Residency in a school leadership position to implement best-practices on a school campus

  • Receive one year of tailored coaching support from Teaching Trust in your first year of serving as principal.

  • Develop competency-based skills and personal trust-building behaviors critical for effective urban school leadership

  • Learn alongside a cohort of values-aligned, influential change-makers


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Your journey as a Teaching Trust leader is not over at the end of your Aspiring Leaders commitment. Cohort members and graduates of Teaching Trust programs have access to high-quality, applicable leadership development and training from our Teaching Trust Alumni Network.

Continue to connect, collaborate, and innovate with peers and colleagues through the Alumni Network. Your journey towards improving outcomes for North Texas students is just beginning.