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Developing the Next Generation of Innovative Higher Education Leaders

The Academy Experience:

Ready to unleash your imagination on the biggest problems challenging colleges and universities?

Ready to collaborate with like-minded professionals from two- and four-year institutions from the across the U.S. and abroad to design potential solutions?

The Breakthrough Models Academy is a six-month program which includes an onsite convening with team-building activities, executive coaching, and a speaker lineup of luminaries from institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Georgia Tech, and competency-based education pioneers like Southern New Hampshire University. Academy alumni have gone on to initiate new programs at their home institutions, and attain career advancements. Here’s what some of them have said:

"My participation in the Breakthrough Models Academy has significantly expanded my knowledge and network. I have gained confidence to be bolder in providing courageous and inspired leadership in the context of my own institution and beyond."

The Academy's Goal:

The Breakthrough Models Academy is developing the next generation of higher education leaders who will challenge traditional thinking and design of higher education models, leading the way toward our next generation learning models.  Designing and accelerating the adoption of those models will require leadership, innovation, and the use of technology. Examples of breakthrough models among NGLC’s grantees include:

EDUCAUSE and Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) present the Breakthrough Models Academy with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Strong Candidates:

  • Management experience or completion of management or leadership development (e.g., campus leadership training, professional development offered by EDUCAUSE, or other higher education professional associations, or leadership certifications) or demonstrated leadership in important campus/departmental projects
  • Experience in an appropriate campus department, such as information technology, academic affairs, the library, or student services
  • Ability to navigate and work with diverse stakeholder perspectives
  • Genuine commitment and interest in academic transformation and advancing innovation
  • Willingness and capacity to work hard during the intense face-to-face program and also afterward with their team on their projects


The Residential Program

July 13-18, 2015
The Swissotel - Chicago, IL

Participants come together for five busy days of speaker sessions with leaders in the field and working sessions with their design challenge team and mentor coaches.

The Coach-Supported Model Design Program

Following the residential program, design challenge teams will meet and create their own version of a 'breakthrough model' for student success that incorporates essential elements and builds on the information shared in the residential program. BMA Model Design Rubric

The Model Design Presentation

The Academy culminates with presentations of selected designs at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting. Using a rubric, the Academy participants and a panel of education innovators will score each model plan. Exemplary plans will be showcased at the ELI Annual Meeting and featured on the NGLC and EDUCAUSE websites.

The 2014 Academy:

  • 40% Private Institutions
  • 60% Public Instituions
  • 28% Two Year Colleges
  • 72% Four Year Colleges
  • Balanced Gender Representation
  • International: Australia and Canada
  • Carnegies Represented: Doctoral, Masters, Liberal Arts and Asosciates Colleges
  • Topics include: business models, student retention/completion, faculty roles/development and competency based education

Application Closed

Join the conversation #BrMA15

Read about the academy on the NGLC blog

Contact Us

For information about this program, please contact Nancy Millichap, Program Officer, Next Generation Learning Challenges.


Earn this badge

Through engaged participation in this program, you are eligible to earn this digital badge which recognizes your professional accomplishment.

Click for more information

Badge Information

This badge recognizes the next generation of change agents who will design higher education models that ensure the future of higher education is accessible, relevant, flexible, and sustainable.  These leaders are innovators of current instructional delivery and student support strategies, financial models, operating structures and institutional policies.

Earning this badge requires registration and engaged participation in the three-part Breakthrough Models Academy, including a face-to-face event, follow-up collaboration, and team presentation at the ELI Annual Meeting 2015.

Find out more about the EDUCAUSE badging program.