Selection Standards

Our Selection Standards outline in detail the skills, knowledge, and beliefs possessed by successful applicants to our programs. These standards are the basis for our admission decisions, and we encourage all candidates to review them closely before applying.

Frequently Asked Questions
There is a common application for all three programs. You will be matched to the best-fit program in your preferred location based on your background, eligibility, and personal leadership development needs as assessed through performance on admission activities.

The first step in the process is completing the Registration Form, which asks you to provide your contact information.

Once the Registration or Nomination Form is submitted, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the remaining two portions of the application.

      • The Background Information Form determines baseline eligibility for Leading Instruction, Emerging Leaders, and Aspiring Principals. It also provides candidates with an opportunity to share their leadership and professional experiences with us.
      • The Instruction Activity asks candidates to analyze instructional materials and student data to plan for and deliver high-quality instruction. This is a timed activity and must be completed in one sitting.


Candidates that are selected to move forward in the admissions process will complete the Problem of Practice Activity, where they will read a scenario about a fictional school and respond to a series of questions. This is a timed activity and must be completed in one sitting.

Candidates that move forward in the process for Aspiring Principals will complete a series of interviews.

  • Finalist Selection Day is a virtual interview experience with New Leaders staff members. Each interview includes situations candidates may face as a Resident Principal in Aspiring Principals.
  • After Finalist Selection Day, candidates will participate in the Regional Interview, an in-person interview with a New Leaders staff member in their chosen program location.
By submitting an application, you will be considered for all programs offered in your preferred program location. You will be matched to a best-fit program based on your eligibility and performance on admissions activities. For more information about which programs are available in each program location, please visit the Apply page and scroll down to the “Where You Can Work” map.

New Leaders carefully assesses how long it should take to complete each activity when determining time limits. You will receive details about the activity before you begin, including what the activity is about, tips for completing it, and guidance about how much time you will have to complete each section. We highly recommend tracking time on your own.

New Leaders reviews applications on a rolling basis, enabling you to submit your application at a time that works best for you. You can submit your application at any time before it closes in early May. Please reach out to the recruitment candidate for your preferred program site if you have additional questions.

Since we use a rolling admissions process, it is in your best interest to apply as early as possible. We have a limited number of placements in each cohort, and the rolling process is designed to be first-come/first-served, meaning the more strong applications we receive earlier in the process, the more likely our programs will fill early. While we do employ a waitlist for candidates who meet our admissions criteria, we cannot guarantee placements will open for those placed on that list. Please note that the admissions process is grounded in our Selection Standards, regardless of the timing of your application submission.

New Leaders reviews applications on a rolling basis, beginning in November. Each stage in the admissions process is reviewed on that same rolling basis, and we anticipate notifying candidates of final decisions in as little as eight weeks. Please note that notification timelines will vary, depending on the location to which you are applying.

The Background Information Form should take approximately one hour to complete.

The Instruction and Problem of Practice Activities are timed, and may take anywhere from 90 to 150 minutes to complete, depending on the activity. Each activity will have a time estimate included in the instructions to help you plan when to complete the activity, based on your schedule.

Minimum application requirements vary by program and location, and are largely based on local licensure and certification requirements. All applicants must possess instructional expertise in a K-12 school setting.  Most program locations also require a teaching certificate and master’s degree. For specifics, please review general eligibility requirements listed for each program on the apply page of this website as well as supplemental requirements for individual cities that can be found using the map on that page’s “Where You Can Work” section. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact your local Recruiter.

New Leaders program participants come from a variety of professional backgrounds, including current teachers and teacher leaders, coaches, deans, assistant principals, and former teachers who are interested in returning to a school after working in the private or non-profit sector.

  • 64% of New Leaders alumni trained since 2000 are people of color (compared with just 20% of principals and teachers nationally).
  • In any given year, participants range in age from 26 to 70.
  • Typically, about one-third of participants are men, and two-thirds are women.


While our participants are diverse, they all share a deep belief that every child, regardless of background, can excel academically and an unwavering commitment to making that vision a reality. Additionally, successful applicants will have a record of raising student achievement when teaching in a K-12 classroom. Finally, candidates must meet all eligibility requirements and New Leaders Selection Standards.

New Leaders will ask Aspiring Principals candidates to provide contact information for three references prior to Finalist Selection Day. We call references for certain candidates after Regional Interviews are complete.

Due to the large number of applicants and the high volume of requests, we are unable to provide feedback to individual candidates who are denied admission. We encourage all applicants to carefully review our and self-assess their strengths and growth areas.

You cannot apply twice in the same academic year, but you are welcome to reapply in following years. During that time, we encourage you to reflect on our Selection Standards and seek opportunities for professional development.

Please contact us via email at if you need to update your information.

No. All components of the application are accepted electronically via our online application system.

You must have access to a computer with either HIGH-SPEED or DSL INTERNET connection – a dial-up internet connection will not be adequate. Additionally, it will be necessary for your computer to have Adobe Flash Player installed. If you need to upgrade your Flash Player, please click on this link for a FREE download of the latest version:

We recommend you use the latest version of your browser of choice. The web browsers officially supported are Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome. Older versions of these browsers may still work, but are not recommended, as they are not as well suited for the latest web technologies. Be sure to compare the browser’s current version to the version you have installed on your machine (Help menu -> About). If you do not have the latest version, please click one of the links below to install the latest version free-of-charge:

If you are not receiving emails from or, it is likely because emails from these addresses are being filtered as SPAM. When completing the Registration Form, please provide a personal email address (instead of a professional/work address). Regardless of your email platform, please add us to your contact list to ensure successful delivery of email notifications.

No. Our professional development programs are provided tuition-free to participants through our district and charter partners, often with generous support from philanthropic partners. (Please note that in some cities there will be modest fees for books/training materials.)

Baltimore Emerging Leaders participants will also have the option of paying a small tuition charge to receive supplemental training leading to an Administration 1 certificate from the state of Maryland. Details available by contacting Karley Davis, (This option is only available in Baltimore as Maryland is the only state currently offering this particular certification/pathway.)

Participants are paid employees of the school district or charter system for which they work and will receive salaries and benefits commensurate with their role as determined by the partner district or organization. This includes Residents in Aspiring Principals, as well as participants in Emerging Leaders and Leading Instruction.

The only program where this may apply is Aspiring Principals. Since Residents benefit from tuition-free training, coursework, and certification – in addition to a paid residency with benefits – they may be subject to a fee if they withdraw during the Residency year, fail to conduct post-Residency job-seeking in good faith, or in certain other circumstances. If admitted into Aspiring Principals, a candidate will receive a New Leaders Program Agreement that will lay out the specific terms around when this reimbursement fee does or does not apply.

For technical questions about an application, or to be connected with a Recruiter in a program location, please contact:

Recruiter contact information for each city/region is also provided below:

MID-ATLANTIC (Baltimore and Washington, DC)
Karley Davis

MIDWEST (Chicago)
Pari Pinyo

Northeast (Bridgeport, Jersey City, New York City, Norwalk, and Rhode Island)
Jonathan Atkins


Arlington, Texas
Donya Logan

Duval, Florida
Natalie Martin

Memphis, Tennessee
Tasha Gentry Holmes

San Antonio, Texas
Terrence Kneisel

WEST (California)

Bay Area
Risha Riley Booker

Terrence Kneisel