SPARC Leadership Institute

The SPARC Leadership Institute is designed for Directors of Summer and Auxiliary Programs who are looking for a comprehensive professional development experience. The curriculum and format serve early-career professionals as well as mid-career leaders who are looking to advance their skills and programs. The Leadership Institute will be delivered entirely online and provide participants with concrete guidance and materials in each facet of their complex positions. Upon completion, Directors will be equipped with best practices, helpful resources, and new ideas to implement at their school. In addition, they will have developed valuable relationships with a small cohort of peers and leaders that will provide guidance and support well beyond the Institute.

Specific program content areas include:

  • Strategic Planning Guidance
  • Personnel and HR Management
  • Auxiliary Program Development
  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Marketing and Communications Strategies
  • Integration within your School
  • Safety and Risk Management

Institute Features

  • 10 sessions (90 min. each) for a total of 15 hours of intensive online professional development programming
  • Collaborative approach in learning with individual projects that support your specific work
  • Experienced faculty who understand the unique challenges and opportunities within your role
  • Shared community portal with resource collections and discussion boards
  • Session recordings available for review



The SPARC Leadership Institute will be led by:

Nat Saltonstall, Executive Director, SPARC

Karen McCann McClelland, Senior Advisor, SPARC

Bob Rojee, Senior Advisor, SPARC

David Sullivan, Senior Advisor, SPARC



The next Leadership Institute will begin in November 2023. The schedule will include ten meetings over the months of November, December, and January. Meetings will be on Wednesdays from 1:00-2:30pm EST. We encourage active participation in all sessions, but we also recognize that conflicts may arise. All sessions will be recorded and available to participants.


Registration Fees

  • Member: $750
  • Non-Member: $950

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"The SPARC Leadership Institute is a "must-do" for all new and aspiring directors of auxiliary programs. The format of this program allowed me to dive into important topic weekly and really contemplate our policies and procedures. I also loved the capstone project - it really got me moving on some major projects."

  • Morgan S.

"The SPARC Leadership Institute should be required for anyone who is new to the role of Auxiliary Programs oversight. The program is especially beneficial to Directors of nascent Auxiliary Departments who may not have the existence or experience of a longstanding department or predecessor to build upon. Above all, it is the opportunity to gain knowledge and insight, with the bonus of camaraderie and networking that every Auxiliary Programs professional wants and needs, whether they realize it or not."

  • Kristi J.

"The 2021 SPARC Leadership Institute provided a great opportunity to expand my knowledge in the Auxiliary Program world. I gained a support system and mentors that were easy to connect with offline instantly. There were a few topics covered that I already felt comfortable in, but I still walked away with some tips and tricks to the trade to make my position better and my life easier. I believe I received valuable information to bring my programs to the next level and I'm already implementing changes to see that happen. Thank you to the SPARC Community!"

  • Courtney F.