Puerto Rico’s Professional Development Academy for Management, Leadership, and Professionalism
In 2018, the auxiliary secretariat of the Institute of Professional Development and University Relations (IDPRU, its acronym in Spanish) at the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) enlisted the support of the Regional Comprehensive Center (currently the Region 3 Comprehensive Center (R3CC) to create an innovative academy for educational leaders. Working together, the Professional Development Academy for Management, Leadership, and Professionalism (EduGesPro, in Spanish) was born. Since then, EduGesPro has impacted more than 500 school and district leaders in Puerto Rico.
In brief, EduGesPro is an international, collaborative program that certifies school principals and regional educational leaders in leadership and organizational management, pushing them beyond the boundaries of filling class time for hours and credit. It leverages partnerships with the University of Toronto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and others across the United States and the island of Puerto Rico to transform the concept of leadership.
EduGesPro serves to empower educational leadership through a rigorous process of workshops, classroom hours, collaborative projects, and customized coaching, based on ten pillars of transformation. Additionally, participants have organically created their own Community of Practice, thereby establishing a collaborative leadership network across the island. One participant noted that program participants have been transformed as human beings, seeing leadership in a different way, and committing to lifelong learning.
Despite challenges and interruptions to daily lives and educational processes due to earthquakes, the Covid-19 pandemic, access to technology, financial struggles, and the devastation hurricane Maria caused, the participants of Cohorts I and II have surpassed expectations by completing the program to the highest of standards. Their well-earned accomplishments were celebrated May 5th, 2022 at the Interamerican University Metro Campus Theater. Participants were celebrated through testaments to their work, live music including a high school choral performance, and a live virtual keynote by the distinguished Dr. Michael Fullan and his colleague Dr. Santiago Rincon Gallardo.
From developing the initial workplans for EduGesPro in collaboration with the IDPRU, University of Toronto and MIT investigators, the Braxton School of Puerto Rico, and Title I and II coordinators, R3CC has assisted the program develop from beginning stages into the success it is now, graduating the first two cohorts. R3CC staff are proud to have played a key role in making EduGesPro happen and are eager to watch the program participants change educational leadership across Puerto Rico.
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