The American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA's) Education Leadership Institute (ELI) Fellowship provides a developmental and integrative curriculum that explores contemporary leadership theories. The theoretical framework in Bolman and Deal's 2008 Four-Frame Model approach is the primary basis for ELI's collaborative exploration of personal leadership and is applied throughout ELI.
ELI is a 52-week, blended learning program that is intended to develop visionary, innovative, and influential directors in physical therapist and physical therapist assistant educational programs to advance the health of society. It begins with an orientation in June and concludes with graduation in July of the following year.
The ELI Fellowship curriculum addresses the breadth and depth of knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function as directors within physical therapy education and leaders in higher education. It is delivered in a trimester format via a dedicated APTA ELI HUB community and face-to-face onsite sessions by content expert faculty, ELI mentors, and the program director.
Three, 2 day, face-to-face sessions are provided in October, mid-March, and mid-July. The sessions enable fellows to receive focused mentoring, to integrate the curricular content of ELI, and provides an open environment that facilitates a strong leadership community.
Activities during these sessions include:
- Discussion of case vignettes
- Mentoring and feedback of real-life situations
- Exploration and refinement of leadership development plans
- Advancement of leadership development projects
The order of module topics and face-to-face sessions are as follows:
- Personal Leadership and Management
- Institutional Leadership and Management
- Higher Education, Healthcare Systems, and Society
- Student Affairs
- Legal and Policy Issues
- Human Resource Management
- Resources/Financial Management
- Program Development and Outcomes Assessment
- Relationships, Influence, and Partnerships
In addition, ELI fellows have an opportunity to interact online with module faculty during virtual office hours. Module content is applied directly to physical therapy education during monthly mentor group e-community sessions.
Mentorship is an integral part of the ELI Fellowship experience. These individuals provide regular, timely, and close interactions with the fellows through coaching, advising, and thought-provoking questions. ELI fellows interact with 2 types of mentors during the Fellowship: ELI mentors and institutional mentors. The mentoring relationship in ELI provides fellows with:
- Resources who can serve as coach, sounding board, and guide
- Introduction to academic leadership networks
- Role model in leadership and effective mentoring techniques
Based on a need within their academic institution, the fellow identifies a project topic that directly benefits the nominating institution. Throughout ELI, these projects are further developed and refined with feedback from peers, ELI mentors, and institutional mentors. Though the projects are fully defined and initiated by the end of ELI, ongoing projects may not be fully completed, as they may extend past the end of the fellowship.
Successful completion of assessments, assignments, and evaluations are requirements to graduate. These include (but are not limited to): module assignments, assessments and evaluations, on-site and graduation evaluations, mentor logs, and leadership projects.