May 22, 2012
LWIT Manager of Student Programs Sheila Walton was chosen last week to attend the prestigious Washington Executive Leadership Academy (WELA). Walton begins her one-year program in July as one of only 15 community and technical college staff and administrators in Washington chosen to participate.
"I'm looking forward to learning more about our state system and meeting a diverse group of college professionals," Walton said. "This program will help me reflect on my own career goals and how I can support higher education initiatives in Washington. It will also help me see how my work at Lake Washington connects to higher education initiatives in the state."
Walton will be paired with two senior level mentors at different colleges, attend classes and participate in on-line work, reading, and campus-based learning experiences to build her leadership skills, understanding of the Washington State system, and develop valuable professional connections. She will also receive a specialized assessment of her readiness for a vice-president or presidential position and an individualized plan will be developed to help her fill gaps in her skills and experience.
"The CTC board recognized that a large number of our colleges' employees will be retiring in the next 10 years and there is a definite need to help prepare internal candidates to fill those positions," said WELA executive director Cindy Hough. "Right now internal candidates aren't getting the vice president and president positions. Many are being filled from out of state. The mission of the academy is to help current college leaders develop that valuable leadership skills and specific training in the Washington State system to help increase their visibility and eligibility to fill those executive positions within our own state."
Walton holds a Master's in arts education from Seattle University. She's worked at six Washington community and technical colleges, including LWIT, in residential life, academic advising, student leadership and student affairs.
For more information on WELA, visit wela.ctc.edu.