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Leadership Academy Program Requirements & Application Process


The objectives of this two-year program are to support mid-career professionals interested in building their areas of expertise and thought-leadership to enhance influence and reputation in the national I/DD community as the next generation of leaders.

Program participants will be expected to complete 50-units of learning activities that are completed over a 2-year period. Participants can earn the units through any of the ANCOR Foundation-sponsored activities, ANCOR-sponsored events, or completing external trainings (supporting documentation required).

The program will focus on these general categories (sample topics, not exhaustive):

  • Leadership Skills Development (e.g., Strategic Planning; Consensus-Building; Conflict Management; Change Management)
  • Communications (e.g., Crisis Management; Social Media Strategy; Marketing; Meeting facilitation)
  • Policy/Advocacy (e.g., Lobbying; Grassroots Advocacy; Disability Rights History)
  • HR Management (e.g., Performance Management)
  • Financial Management (e.g., Budget Management; Financial Analysis)

The Foundation will continually evaluate focus areas based on participant feedback and needs.

The application period is closed. The ANCOR Foundation will begin accepting applications in 2021.

Leadership Academy Benefits

Participants in the Leadership Academy will receive:

  • Up to 10 complimentary ANCOR Foundation-hosted 60-90 minute webinars (held at 2:00pm Eastern on the 4th Thursday of the webinar month), to be supplemented by a facilitated discussion with Academy coach every other month
  • Two complimentary ANCOR Foundation pre-conference sessions (or equivalent)
  • Leadership Academy Mentoring Circles: optional small group mentoring over six-month period with discussion facilitated by I/DD industry leaders
  • Four complimentary registrations for any ANCOR-hosted webinars (in addition to ANCOR Foundation webinars)
  • Dedicated ACC peer support group

Upon program completion, Leadership Academy graduates will receive:

  • Recognition at ANCOR Annual Conference
  • A Certificate of Completion
  • Visibility on the ANCOR Foundation website, denoting their focus area (graduates are expected to continue lifelong learning and give back to the community as potential presenters, speakers, mentors or other demonstration of thought-leadership)

Program Requirements

Participation in the Leadership Academy requires attendance at virtual orientation and in-person kick-off meeting at ANCOR's Annual Conference. In addition, the program requires a combination of learning activities and giving back to the disability community. Fifty (50) unites of any combination of learning activities and giving back must be earned over the two-year period of the Leadership Academy.

Learning Activities

  • Refers to webinars, conferences or seminars attended, as well as any professional mentoring that is received, such as:
    • Attending webinars, seminars or conferences (plenary and breakout sessions only); 1 hour of attendance = 1 unit
    • Receiving professional mentoring; 1 hour mentoring = 1 unit

Giving Back

  • Refers to sharing expertise with the broader community, such as active participation in an ANCOR committee or initiative, giving presentations and/or speeches, or publishing articles (e.g., ANCOR’s Connections or other publication). Examples include:
    • ANCOR committee or initiative; 1 hour meeting/work session= 1 unit
    • Presentations and/or speeches; 1 presentation / speech = 2 units
    • Article for publication; 1 article = 2 units

Tracking Units

  • Participants who register for an ANCOR or ANCOR Foundation-sponsored event/activity will automatically receive the units for that event
  • Participants who attend an external activity (i.e., not sponsored by ANCOR or ANCOR Foundation) must submit supporting documentation (e.g., certificates of attendance) to request credits for completion
  • Examples of external trainings:

Upon completion of 50 units, participants submit a written reflection on their two-year journey, focusing on lessons learned and application toward future career objectives.

Application Process

The application period is closed.  The ANCOR Foundation will begin accepting applications in 2021.

Eligibility Criteria

  • ANCOR member organization leaders are eligible to apply
  • Mid-career I/DD professionals (between 5-15 years of I/DD experience)
  • Minimum of one year of supervisory experience (paid staff or unpaid volunteers)

Application Overview 

To be considered, applicants must provide:

  • Resume or employment history
  • Short answers to application questions
  • Indicate focus areas
  • Personal commitment statement
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A letter of commitment from the applicant's organization, indicating willingness to provide support and resources as needed to enable participant to successfully complete program (download sample letter of commitment)

Admission Notification & Enrollment Fee

If accepted, a non-refundable $500 enrollment fee is required to confirm interest. If participant does not complete the requirements at the end of the two-year program, she/he/they must re-apply.

Cohort 2 Key Program Dates

  • October-December, 2019: Application period
  • February 2020: Notify finalists and submit enrollment fees
  • March 2020: Virtual program orientation
  • 2020 ANCOR Annual Conference: Kick-off meeting
  • July 2020: Webinars begin (one webinar every other month); begin optional mentoring circles (six-month duration)
  • 2022 ANCOR Annual Conference: Graduation


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