SPARC Projects

Open Education Leadership Program

Open Education

Empowering Leaders for an Open Education Future

Open Education Leadership Program

The SPARC Open Education Leadership Program is an intensive professional development program to empower academic professionals with the knowledge, skills, and connections to lead successful open education initiatives that benefit students. Launched in 2017, the two-semester program blends online, peer-to-peer, and project-based learning to build a comprehensive understanding of the open education field coupled with practical know-how to take action on campus and beyond. Structured as a fellowship, each cohort becomes a vibrant community of practice that is further enhanced by expert instructors and mentorship support.

SPARC will not offer a full version of the program in 2023-24. Please sign up to be notified about the next opportunity to apply.

Program Outcomes

The SPARC Open Education Leadership program is designed to benefit academic professionals with any level of experience in open education, including those just getting started with a new initiative and those with more experience looking to take their work to the next level. By putting practice, community, and real-world impact at the center, the program provides an environment where participants, instructors, and mentors learn and grow from both the curriculum and each other.

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of how to approach the discovery, creation, adoption, licensing, and stewardship of open educational resources and how this connects to open pedagogy, teaching and learning.
  • Build a network within the open education community, both through a cohort of peers and access to leading experts in the field.
  • Develop skills to define, communicate, and advocate for open education to a wide variety of stakeholder audiences.
  • Learn how to assess local needs and barriers relating to open education, and design an initiative to address them, while centering equity and inclusion.
  • Gain practical experience planning, implementing, and assessing an open education project that both has an impact locally and contributes back to the community.
  • Develop as a leader through personalized feedback, mentorship, and peer-to-peer support.

Cohort Profiles

Pilot Cohort Group Picture

2017-2018 Cohort

2018-2019 Cohort

2019-2020 Cohort Profile Picture Array

2019-2020 Cohort

2020-2021 Cohort Profile Picture Array

2020-2021 Cohort

2021-2022 Cohort Profile Picture Array

2021-2022 Cohort

2022-2023 Cohort


What Fellows are Saying

“The most important takeaway from the SPARC OER Leadership program was the connection it provided for me to my peers in the cohort. One of the hardest parts of getting started is identifying potential partners and collaborators, by going through this program I have built connections with other professionals that will last throughout my career. I can’t overstate how important the bonds we developed through learning and working together in a sustained space has changed the way I work.”
— Amanda Larson, Open Education Librarian, Penn State University

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