Middle Leadership Academy

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

The Middle Leadership Academy is the professional learning arm of the CSU Student Success Network. Over the course of a year, the Academy 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. 

The CSU Student Success Network invites cross-functional teams of no more than 6 to apply for the Middle Leadership Academy. 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.

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 traditionally underserved students. Teams may bring their own specific topic that centers on issues of equity.

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’s policies and guidelines.


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.

How to Apply for the Academy

Interested teams must prepare a Letter of Interest including a short, one paragraph project description, and team member names and roles. The Student Success Network will contact all team leads with further instructions.

20-21 Session Logistics

Session 1: Multi-session online format (dates and times TBD)
Session 2: February 11-13, 2021 (Sacramento, CA)
Session 3: April 8-10, 2021 (Pomona, CA)


*Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions that remain in place for CSU employees, our fall session will be online. The spring session dates are tentative; the format and timing will depend on the guidelines and restrictions in place as we move forward through next year.

2020-2021 Informational Webinar


Prior Cohort Information

2019-2020 Cohort

2018-2019 Cohort

2017-2018 Cohort

Want to know more?


Contact Interim Academy Co-Directors: Rock Braithwaite or Brett Smith


Student Success Network Calendar

Supporting and Engaging Men of Color in the CSU


12:30pm USC Pullias Center for Higher Education and CSU Student Success Network Webinar
Winter Middle Leadership Academy


10:00am 2020-21 Middle Leadership Academy Session 1


10:00am 2020-21 Middle Leadership Academy Session 2


10:00am 2020-21 Middle Leadership Academy Session 3
Spring Navigating Uncertainty Together Conversation Series


9:00am Navigating Uncertainty Together Conversation 1


9:00am Navigating Uncertainty Together Conversation 2


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