Leadership Academy

For More information on CLD Leadership Academy please read the following:


CLD is committed to building the leadership capacity of professionals who are entering the special education field (persons in the first several years of a university position or in the dissertation phase of their PhD program). Participation in the Leadership Academy provides the opportunity to assume a leadership role on a local, state, and national level in service to students with learning disabilities and their families. Academy Leaders have the opportunity to network and receive mentoring from some of the most-highly regarded leaders in the field of Learning Disabilities. Additionally, Academy Leaders are eligible for nomination for CLD annual awards.


Each year, CLD selects a cohort of up to six emerging leaders who demonstrate potential and a passion for leadership in service of students with learning disabilities as well as all other learners who struggle academically.


Eligibility Information


Leadership Academy candidates are members of CLD, including state chapters (if available).  Candidates can be nominated or may self-nominate (a separate letter of reference, from a current CLD member, is needed). There is no limit to the number of candidates an individual can nominate. Applications will be reviewed by the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) and the Executive Committee (EC).  The application will include the following four essays with a 500 word limit for each question:

  1. Describe your experience working with individuals with learning disabilities and/or their families.
  2. Describe your research interests related to the field of learning disabilities and how you think your line of inquiry will contribute to the field.
  3. Describe service you have done in the field of learning disabilities and contributions that you would like to make through future service.
  4. Describe your professional goals, both short-term (for the next year) and long-term (for the next 5-10 years), and how you think CLD leadership academy can help you reach those goals.



Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


Are there deadlines for applications and when does the new-class year begin? The application process is open during the spring semester each year. The application deadline for the upcoming cohort is March 15th and the CLD chairperson will notify the new cohort members by email by June 1st.  The new cohort will participate in a pre-conference workshop and will be introduced at the national CLD conference in October. Beginning November 1, the newly selected cohort will participate in the year-long program with the expectation that they will continue for a second year as an ad hoc member of a CLD Standing Committee.


What are the benefits of participation in the Leadership Academy?

  • A complimentary registration for the national conference for year one and a reduced registration for year two
  • Visibility within the CLD community
  • Assignment of a CLD mentor, based on identified interests of academy leaders, who is a member of CLD that has served in leadership positions within the LD community
  • Various networking opportunities with other Academy Leaders, CLD leaders and staff
  • Participation in the creation of professional-development offerings for CLD members
  • Eligibility for prestigious CLD awards


What are the expectations of an Academy Leader? Academy Leaders will attend the CLD International Conference on Learning Disabilities. They will participate in a day-long orientation and planning session the day before the conference officially begins. They will be invited to attend a portion of the Board of Trustees meeting and the CLD annual business meeting. Priority seating will be provided for the General Session and selected conference sessions to be determined by the LDC. Academy Leaders also agree to serve on a CLD Standing Committee as one-year ad hoc members during their second year as Academy Leaders.




Possible Areas of Focus for Leadership Development


Local Chapter Affiliation and/or National Involvement

  •  Increase involvement in a CLD Professional Chapter or Student Chapter
  • Become a member of a CLD standing committee
  • Work with a local chapter to recruit new CLD members
  • Nominate colleagues for CLD Leadership Academy and CLD awards


CLD Outreach (these activities may be a collaborative effort among the current Academy Leaders or be an individual focus)

  • Create or support a CLD presence in your state or region. This may include maintaining a state or regional data base for networking and sharing information.
  • Create a clearinghouse for local conferences, local legislative updates, articles/commentaries by professors or doctoral candidates from regional universities or starting a blog for members. Develop ways to ensure this is a sustainable effort.
  • Host local networking events for educators and/or parents
  • Become involved with legislative advocacy and policy


Professional Development

  • Present at local conferences or the annual CLD conference
  • Facilitate or help with local professional-development opportunities or the annual CLD conference
  • Present at a collaborative conference for educators who support struggling learners
  • Participate in the development of professional development offerings of CLD
  • Create list of professional resources that can be accessed on the CLD members only website link


Online Collaboration and Social Media

  • Facilitate online conversations with other Academy Leaders
  • Create and maintain your own blog


Writing and Research

  • Write or contribute to the writing of an article for LD Forum (Research to Practice or 5 Ways to. . .)
  • Inform CLD membership of Leadership Academy activities in an article for LD Forum
  • Contribute to a CLD Infosheet
  • Submit a manuscript for Outstanding Researcher Award


Our Leadership Academy Application form is being updated and more information will be provided soon.


Reference Form (Reference Form is being updated and more information coming soon).


Contact:  Diane Bryant
Leadership Development Co-Chair