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
Register for the Applicant Portal
The Applicant Portal is an online platform that applicants will use to access application materials, including admissions activities, and receive important updates on the status of an application.

To register for the Applicant Portal, please click the “Apply Now” button on the Apply page of our website and provide your name, contact information, a password, and your New Leaders program location preference. The registration process should take between 3-5 minutes.

Once registered, log into the Applicant Portal to access the application.

  • The Background Information Form determines eligibility for Leading Instruction, Emerging Leaders, and Aspiring Principals and provides candidates with an opportunity to share their leadership and professional experiences with us.
  • The Instruction activity asks candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of high-quality classroom instruction.


Instructional Leadership activity (Emerging Leaders and Aspiring Principals only)
Candidates that are selected to move forward in the admissions process will complete the Instructional Leadership activity, where they will demonstrate their ability to analyze student data, plan for high-quality instruction, and navigate leadership challenges associated with leading a team of teachers.

Finalist Selection Day and Regional Interviews (Aspiring Principals only)
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. Each of the interviews includes situations candidates may face as a Resident Principal in Aspiring Principals.
  • After Finalist Selection Day, candidates may participate in a 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 program location/city. Your program pathway is determined by your eligibility and performance on Admissions Activities. For more information on which programs are available in each program location, please visit the website’s “Apply” page and scroll down to the “Where You Can Work” section

The Instruction activity is divided into two parts:

  • Part I: Methods for Supporting Student Learning
    • You’ll identify the most critical methods teachers use to support student learning and describe the role of those methods in planning for high-quality classroom instruction
  • Part II: Planning for High-Quality Instruction
    • You’ll select a sample College and Career Ready-aligned learning standard and engage in the instructional planning process
The Instructional Leadership activity is based on a single premise: you are the leader of a team of teachers at a school. In Part I of the activity, you will learn details about your role at the school and the purpose of your team. You will then analyze a set of formative assessment data and plan for subsequent classroom instruction. In Part II of the activity, you are presented with a situation you encounter as you lead this team, and will respond to a series of questions related to that situation.

You will have the opportunity to select one of the following sets of Instructional Materials:

  • Elementary English Language Arts/Literacy (Grade 4)
  • Elementary Math (Grade 3)
  • Secondary English Language Arts/Literacy (Grade 8)
  • Secondary Math (Grade 8)
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, and how much time you will have to complete each section. You will see a countdown timer at the bottom of each section of the activities to help you monitor your time.

If you run out of time, you will automatically advance to the next section of the activity.

Please email if you lose your internet connection and can’t reaccess the timed activity.

  • The Background Information Form will take approximately 20 – 30 minutes to complete
  • You will have 2 hours to complete the Instruction activity
  • You will have 2 hours to complete the Instructional Leadership activity
  • The Instruction and Instructional Leadership activities are timed. Each activity will have a time estimate included in the instructions to help you plan when to complete the activity, based on your schedule. Note you may not need the full time allotted to complete the activities. There is a timer at the bottom of each page of the activities to help you monitor your remaining time.

    Minimum application requirements vary by program and program location, and are largely based on local licensure and certification requirements. For specifics, please review our Eligibility Requirements. All applicants must possess instructional expertise in a K-12 setting. Most program locations also require a teaching certificate and master’s degree. For 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.
  • All successful candidates to our programs have an unwavering focus and relentless drive to ensure high academic achievement for all students, regardless of background. Additionally, participants have a record of success when teaching in a K-12 classroom. Successful candidates meet the New Leaders Eligibility Requirements and 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 Selection Standards 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:

    Please email if you encounter a technical issue. We will be happy to help you troubleshoot.

    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.

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

    Jonathan Atkins
    Chicago, New York, Norwalk, East St. Louis

    Karley Davis
    Baltimore, Clay and Duval Counties, Washington, DC

    Tasha Gentry Holmes
    Edgecombe, Dougherty and Richmond Counties, Memphis, Vance

    Risha Riley Booker
    Bay Area

    Terrence Kneisel