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First-of-its-kind Partnership Aims to Increase Number of School Principals of Color

March 9, 2022

New Leaders joins with Morehouse, Clark Atlanta to offer online certification, master’s degree in school leadership

In an effort to dramatically boost the number of principals of color leading K-12 schools across the country, national nonprofit New Leaders is forming a first-of-its-kind partnership with  distinguished historically Black institutions Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University to launch the Aspiring Principals Fellowship.

The Fellowship is an online principal certification and master’s degree program designed to train the next generation of equity-focused school leaders who better reflect the students they serve. Half of all students in K-12 public schools identify as people of color, while only 1 in 5 principals do. Only 11% of principals are Black, and just 9% are Hispanic. Yet, research shows that principals of color deliver better outcomes for students of color and are more effective at hiring and retaining teachers of color.

“My high school principal refused to let me drop out after my father passed away and my mother returned to Haiti when I was 17. He believed in me when I did not believe in myself. The Fellowship will create more leaders like my principal who saw what a first generation Haitian-American student could become one day,” said New Leaders CEO Jean Desravines. “This will create the much-needed pipeline of diverse school leaders who are ready to make bold, transformational changes in service of our schools, our students and their families and our communities. This is a national crisis that demands nothing less than our full attention and strongest commitment so that every student has a chance at success.”

“Equity in the education of students of color must be an urgent national priority,” said David A. Thomas, Ph.D., Morehouse College president. “Our children need guidance and nurturing from principals who understand the unique cultural experiences, proud heritage, and sometimes challenging socio-economic circumstances that affect learning opportunities for young Black students and those from other minority groups. By using technology to extend the Morehouse experience beyond our campus through the innovative Aspiring Principals Fellowship, we are furthering our mission to develop men with disciplined minds for lives of leadership and service and preparing principals with the skills, perspectives, and insight they need to be compassionate educators with high standards of excellence who embrace the potential of all children.”

“Clark Atlanta University undoubtedly understands the importance of diversification in all spaces of our world. Our institution was established on the beliefs that all disenfranchised, particularly people of color, have access to higher education and better opportunities. Today, we continue our work toward that effort by partnering with New Leaders and the Aspiring Principals Fellowship,” said Clark Atlanta President George T. French Jr., Ph.D. “This partnership will give CAU scholars the knowledge, skills and tools needed to become principals and leaders in our nation’s schools and diversify the higher education leaders’ pipeline.”

School districts and charter school management organizations interested in sponsoring a cohort of educators to join the Aspiring Principals Fellowship can do so at  

Noodle, the country’s fastest growing online higher education network, is developing a virtual learning platform for the Fellowship to facilitate a world-class online learning environment and highly interactive user experience for both faculty and students.

“We are huge fans of New Leaders, and are honored to have been chosen by them and these schools as a partner,” said Noodle CEO John Katzman. “We are excited to deepen our support for the HBCU community with the Aspiring Principals Fellowship.”

The Fellowship is made possible through anchor gifts from Ballmer Group, The Boeing Company, Hyde Family Foundation, Garrett and Mary Moran, Overdeck Family Foundation, Salesforce, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional generous support from Adtalem Global Education Foundation, Memphis Education Fund, and The Moriah Fund.

Educators enrolling in the Fellowship will join a nationwide network of 6,000 skilled leaders in more than 134 school districts who have completed New Leaders training to advance their leadership skills and help ensure that every student that walks through the doors of their schools can thrive.

For more on this groundbreaking new partnership, visit

About New Leaders:

New Leaders is redefining how schools are led. New Leaders builds the capacity of equity-minded school leaders who are committed to the success of every child. Our leaders remove barriers to success for underestimated and underserved students, supporting students in fully realizing their futures as the next generation of great thinkers, innovators, and leaders for our society.

In 20 years, we have trained more than 6,000 equity-focused leaders—sixty percent of whom identify as leaders of color. Our leaders impact more than 750,000 students in our K-12 school system annually and serve as powerful and positive forces for change in their communities.

About Morehouse College:

Morehouse College is the largest men’s college in the United States and the only college with a mission to educate Black men. A private, liberal arts institution founded in 1867, Morehouse is the nation’s top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates, the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs, and was named to the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most Fulbright Scholars in 2019-2020. Morehouse has the top-rated core curriculum of any HBCU nationwide, according to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, and Academic Influence named Morehouse one of the two most influential HBCUs of the 21st century. Morehouse is one of the top five HBCUs nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report, which also ranked the College among the top 20 liberal arts colleges nationally in terms of social mobility and the top 50 nationally in terms of innovation. Morehouse is the #1 producer of Black male graduates in Georgia in biology, business, engineering, English, foreign languages, history, mathematics, performing arts, philosophy, physical sciences, religion, and visual arts, according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education. As the epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which has created social and economic disparities for people of African descent. Prominent Morehouse alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, Academy Award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political analyst; Randall Woodfin, elected as the youngest mayor of Birmingham in 120 years; and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator from Georgia. For more information, visit:

About Clark Atlanta University:

Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869). Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement. CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit

About Noodle:

Noodle is a certified B Corp that creates excellent online and agile programs that elevate campus-wide teaching and technology. Since January 2019, Noodle has launched as many online programs with elite U.S. universities as have all of its competitors combined. Its network of universities, higher education leaders, providers, and students fuels innovation and efficiency in learning design, marketing, recruitment, technology, student and faculty support, and clinical placement. Follow Noodle on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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