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Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) — Advancing what works in STEM education

2014 PKAL Summer Leadership Institute for STEM Faculty

Pendle Hill and Baca Campus

Application Deadline: The 2014 SLI application deadline has passed.


The PKAL Summer Leadership Institute is designed for both early and mid-career STEM faculty engaged in leading projects aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. The five-day intensive Institute provides faculty participants with the theory and practice required to effectively manage the politics of change and contribute to the national STEM higher education reform effort. 

PKAL has been offering Summer Leadership Institutes since 1996. Currently, over 40 percent of Institute alumni hold positions of leadership on their home campus. Institutes will be held this year in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, on the Baca Campus of Colorado College in Crestone, Colorado; and at Pendle Hill, outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Both Institutes are identical in format and programming, consisting of a team of six to eight mentors who are nationally recognized leaders in STEM higher education. Institute mentors play a key role in guiding the Institute, contributing first-hand experience in institutional change leadership at the local and national levels. Mentors work with participants both during the Institute to shape a personal agenda for leadership, and following the Institute to implement an institutional change action plan. As such, significant time is allotted for informal conversation and reflection with mentors.

Additionally, the Institute utilizes a variety of approaches that include case studies, role-playing, field trips, collaborative problem-solving exercises and experiential learning. Through these and other active learning approaches, participants will

  • engage in rigorous discourse about national and regional opportunities and challenges related to STEM higher education;
  • learn from experienced mentors about the political dimensions of institutional change, the importance of understanding institutional culture, and the changing national context for STEM leadership;
  • practice the art of successful communication and negotiation;
  • learn about communication styles and develop an appreciation of how differences in communication styles, experiences, and backgrounds contribute to enhanced problem solving;
  • reflect privately, and with mentors and peers, on being an agent of change for STEM higher education at the institutional and national levels;
  • create a leadership growth plan, with guidance from mentors that outlines the vision, goals and strategies to effect change; and
  • join a network of colleagues from around the country who share similar goals regarding the creation of effective learning environments for all STEM learners.

Click here for the PKAL Summer Leadership Institute brochure.

Choosing Among AAC&U Summer Institutes—Learn more here.