Classes will be scheduled around the busy schedules teachers have with most being on weekends, France said.
"I think the schedule responds to the working schedule and the needs of the working professional with most classes being on weekends with one class on a Wednesday, which will be release time for teachers, so it's not as if they will have to go to class two or three evenings a week," France said.
Some classes will also be offered online, which France said enables the students to have access to some of the most qualified instructors and information in the country.
"By having some sections of our curriculum online we are going to be tapping into some of the work that's going on at Harvard University in teaching for understanding, so we're not bound by place and our students are just going to have so much access to national research and national consultants. I guess I've never been more excited about an opportunity for teachers," France said.
Asbury will be partnering with the Kentucky Leadership Academy which will allow the students to be involved with other educational leaders from across the state as well as national leaders who will be brought in to provide professional development opportunities.
Asbury Director of Graduate Education Bonnie Banker called the opportunity to be in the presence of national leadership a rare moment in graduate work, and said the students would be sitting at the feet of the true mentors in the field of leadership.
France said the program had received the support of Jessamine County Superintendent Lu Young and other superintendents in the area and had been received well by teachers who have heard about it.
"We were at opening day at Jessamine County schools, and I had teachers who had been in the classroom for 30 years coming over and asking about the program, so that was exciting," France said. "I even had teachers who were on the Educational and Professional Standards Board who reviewed our documents who weighed in and said, 'I can see that this was designed with teachers in mind and I would like to have the opportunity to be involved in this."'
France said most of the teachers she had talked to recognized the opportunity and wanted to be involved in a network of cohort individuals who share the same enthusiasm of leadership and bring their expertise to the table to work on some of the challenges facing teachers.
Banker said if the Teacher as Leader program flourishes, another program designed for principals will be added later.
"We are going to be following up subsequently with a principal licensing program so that folks that have this as a foundation, if they really embrace it and enjoy it, then they can move on and get their principal certificate if the choose to do that," Banker said.
To learn more about the program, go to www.asbury.edu or contact France or Banker at (859) 858-3511.