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Boston Public Schools Launch Executive Coaching Program to Recruit and Boost Retention Among Women of Color

Boston, MA - Thursday, June 2, 2016 - The Boston Public Schools today announced the launch of the BPS Women Educators of Color (WEOC) Executive Coaching Program, a 4-semester (15 months) accredited program designed to increase engagement, retention and leadership rates for female staff of color within Boston Public Schools.

"Leadership in our school system should reflect the people of Boston," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "I commend Boston Public Schools for implementing a program that aims to remove barriers that still exist in the workplace. We must continue to ensure that diversity is our main goal, structurally, within the hiring and recruitment process."

Building on the successful 2014 launch of the Male Educators of Color Executive Coaching Program (MEOC), now on its second cohort, the WEOC program will guide participants to focus on key levers of effective educational leadership and also support the development of innovative, research-based solutions to key problems of practice.
"The Committee remains focused on diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the district," said Boston School Committee Chairman Michael O'Neill. "A diverse workforce results in more positive outcomes for our children, and I have faith that this program will prove to be successful."  

The Office of Human Capital (OHC) diversity programs are designed to support the district's investment in human capital by enabling the district to recruit, retain and promote a workforce that is reflective of the racial, cultural and linguistic diversity of Boston Public School students.

"We are thankful to the partners that helped to support this program," said Superintendent Dr. Tommy Chang. "When our workforce is representative of our students' cultures and ethnic backgrounds, our students can see themselves being future educators, doctors, lawyers, artists and more. We're pleased to make this investment in our district's future because it reflects our values and goals as a school system."

OHC operates by using two strategies: workforce pipeline development (both internal and external) and workforce retention to cultivate and retain the district's diverse and talented workforce.

The program runs from May 2016 to June 2017; classes will be held one Saturday morning per month in addition to monthly small group gatherings. Participants will receive 1) executive leadership coaching, 2) small group peer support and upon successful completion of the program, 3) executive leadership certificate, and 4) graduate level course credits.
"We are pleased to partner with the Boston Public Schools on pathways to administrative leadership for educators-of-color," said University of Massachusetts Boston's Director of Educational Administration Jack Leonard. "Our satellite graduate programs in Educational Administration with BPS have drawn over 150 inquiries in 15 months. We are confident that the new Women Educators of Color Executive Coaching Program will open even more doors for under-represented candidates in school leadership."
Participants will receive a valuable combination of executive coaching, research-based content as well as a natural balance between self-reflection and peer interactions. Our new leadership initiative supports a network of women of color focused on collaborating to succeed.
The core curriculum includes:
  • Leadership Development Graduate Course
  • Organizational Change Graduate Course
  • Course Practicum & Executive Coaching
  • Problem of Practice Research Design
Participants contribute by attending all sessions, completing all assigned coursework, and developing a problem of practice presentation, as well as pay for graduate degree credits upon successful completion of the program.
Each WEOC session is led and facilitated by current and former women leaders of color from the Boston Public Schools or certified instructors sponsored by the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Twenty women educators of color who are currently in school-based and central office staff roles were accepted to the program. A minimum three years of experience in BPS was required for consideration.