Early Ed Leadership & Innovation

We train frontline early educators and child care business owners in entrepreneurial leadership, and research ways to support them at scale

UMass Boston Announces New Cohort of Early Education Leadership Fellows

The Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation (the Early Ed Leadership Institute) at UMass Boston is pleased to announce the selection of five Early Education Leadership Fellows for the 2023-2025 cohort of its Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice (PMC).

The Early Education Leadership Fellows represent a variety of public, private, and community-based programs. The 2023-2025 cohort will spend the next two years immersed in intensive training in relational and entrepreneurial leadership, early childhood policy, and the science of early learning. They will also connect with and join the Early Ed Leadership Institute’s growing network of emerging and established early childhood education leaders.

“We’re pleased to have this group of experienced and talented early educators in our program. As state leaders increasingly recognize the need to invest in ECE infrastructure and accessibility, it’s imperative to cultivate ECE leaders who can develop and implement solutions to the many challenges facing our profession,” said Lynne Mendes, Director of Leadership Programs for the Early Ed Leadership Institute. “I’m excited to see how they innovate to improve the field.”

The PMC program at the Early Ed Leadership Institute provides early educators, directors, and early education entrepreneurs small business owners with training in relational and entrepreneurial leadership designed to foster the skills, competencies, and mindsets needed for driving change and innovation in early care and education research, practice and policy.

More than 100 PMC alumni have formed a powerful leadership corps, leveraging their practical experience and leadership training to improve early care and education quality and children’s learning, and mentoring the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. Past PMC graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral study to advance scholarship in the field, led quality improvement efforts in their programs, sought new positions to make change on a scale greater than that possible in their prior job, served on professional advisory boards, and launched entrepreneurial ventures including the establishment of innovative models of early care and education.

The PMC is supported by grant funding and Early Education Fellows are offered tuition scholarships that offset program-related costs. Courses take place online and on Saturdays to accommodate employment- and family-related responsibilities.

The following are the 2023-2025 Early Education Leadership Fellows:

  • Emma Pascarella, an early childhood educator in Western Massachusetts with 18 years of experience.
  • Rhonda Prentice, an early childhood educator in Boston with more than 10 years working with children in various capacities.
  • Carmen Rodriguez, a K1 multi-lingual teacher at the Russell School in Dorchester who has taught for 18 years in Boston Public Schools.
  • Rebecca Smith, an integrated Kindergarten Teacher with Melrose Public Schools.
  • Grace Yang, a Montessori teacher in Belmont.
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