Frequently Asked Questions
Interested in Vista Leadership Academy and want to learn more?
Who should apply to Vista Leadership Academy?
The Vista Leadership Academy is a cross-sectoral professional leadership development program for socially-conscious individuals at any point in their career. Each annual Academy consists of no more than 12 Fellows to foster a strong peer learning community. We envision the Academy will be a great fit for you if:
- you are early in your career, feeling disillusioned with where you are
- you are mid-career, burnt out, wanting to make a transition
- you are interested in starting a new business/venture
- you are approaching retirement with interest in an encore career
What are some of the benefits of Vista Leadership Academy?
Each Fellow will develop a Leadership Action Plan to achieve the goals developed throughout the program. After completion of the program, a virtual community will provide the opportunity for the Fellows to continue engagement and support in implementation of individual action plans.
What is the program schedule for the Academy?
The Academy is generally in session from June through December.
The program begins with an individual coaching call in June to clarify values and goals.
Each Fellow will then complete the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment and have the second individual coaching session to review the assessment results. A second individual coaching call is provided in July.
Online Virtual Classroom sessions meet twice per month and with the first session starting in August and culminating in October.
All Fellows will meet in-person for the Leadership Retreat in Oaxaca, Mexico. The third individual coaching session immediately follows the retreat.
Virtual Classroom sessions resume in November and close with the final online capstone session in December.
Who are the members of the Vista Leadership Academy team?
The Vista Leadership Academy was founded by Mary Stelletello . Mary Stelletello is a leadership development catalyst whose journey began as an International Fellow with Partners of the Americas. Over the last 25 years, she has designed and facilitated leadership programs in New Mexico, Hawaii, California, North Dakota, Wisconsin and several Latin American countries. Mary is a professional coach, ACC credentialed by the International Coach Federation, and uses these skills to support leaders in achieving their full potential.
The Academy includes other partners, instructors and collaborators who bring expertise and resources to the overall experience.
How do I apply to Vista Leadership Academy?
What happens after I submit my application?
The application period is now closed.
When the Academy is accepting applications you will receive an email acknowledging that we received your application within 24 hours. Note: If you don’t receive the confirmation email, you may need to check your spam folder.
Once your application has been reviewed, you will be contacted by email with your application status. If your application is accepted, you will receive instructions with the next steps in the registration process including travel arrangements and payment.
Is there continuing education credit or a certificate for completing the Academy?
The Academy team is working with partners to develop continuing education credits or university-based certificate for the program. There may be International Coach Federation (ICF) CCEU credits available for several virtual classroom sessions. For more information regarding continuing education credits, contact the Vista Leadership Academy team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual Class and Technology Questions
What is the Virtual Class?
The virtual class is an online learning platform designed to engage and prepare Academy Fellows with materials and interactive activities to examine personal leadership and professional development. This is a closed community platform consisting only of the Academy participants. The Virtual Class will consist of brief presentations, small group discussions, and individual reflections on the course themes.
What are the topics of the Virtual Classes?
The central themes of the Academy are personal leadership development and professional career advancement. Topics identified to address these themes include:
- Personal Values and Strengths
- Listening Skills
- Cultural Competence
- Design Thinking
- Multi-sector Collaboration
Read more about the Academy program.
How does the Virtual Class work?
The Academy Fellows will meet online in the Virtual Class using the Adobe Connect platform. Adobe Connect allows for collaboration, break out groups and video sharing. Fellows will receive a link to the Virtual Class meeting room and all of our sessions will take place in the same meeting room. We will be using webcams and microphones in each session.
What if I am late or absent from a Virtual Class?
Because Vista Leadership Academy is designed as an interactive learning community, it is essential for Fellows to participate in all virtual classes. We understand there may be an unexpected personal situation that may prohibit you from participating. Any absence should be discussed with the Vista Leadership Academy team prior to the session.
Is there homework?
For each Virtual Classroom session there will be required reading, videos to watch or brief assignments. As sessions are bi-weekly, we anticipate there will be approximately 1-2 hours of pre-session work over the course of 2 weeks prior to each Virtual Classroom session.
What are the technology requirements for the Virtual Classroom?
Hardware and Software: All Academy participants are required to have a desktop computer, laptop, or netbook in order to actively participate in each Virtual Classroom session via an internet browser.
We do not recommend the use of an iPad or mobile device app for Adobe Connect as mobile apps generally have different or limited functionality and we want each participant to have the same user experience.
Adobe Connect has specific operating system and browser requirements for Windows and Mac devices. Refer to their requirements and confirm your device meets the requirements.
Participants will be provided with reading documents in PDF format. If your computer does not have software for viewing PDF files, you are required to download and install free PDF-viewer such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Internet Connectivity: Participants are required to have a reliable internet connection, preferably a broadband internet connection with a download speed of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) or greater.
You can test your internet speed with your provider or using a website like Speakeasy Speed Test.
If you live in a region without broadband internet or high speed internet connectivity, contact us about potential options.
Retreat Travel Questions
Why is the retreat in Oaxaca, Mexico and what is the itinerary?
Oaxaca, Mexico is a perfect backdrop to the leadership retreat. We will be based in Oaxaca City in the Central Valley of the Sierra Madre Mountains, at an elevation of approximately 5,000 ft. The climate is mild with daily temperatures averaging in the 80s (°F). Oaxaca is known for its rich mix of history, culture and arts. In addition, recently there has been an increasingly vibrant social entrepreneurial community.
Each day of the retreat will combine elements of inquiry, reflection, action and community-building to provide the space for Fellows to develop their Leadership Action Plan. We will visit archeological sites, community-based organizations and natural surroundings for inspiration and engagement.
Do I need to know Spanish?
The Academy sessions and materials will be facilitated in English. Spanish language skills will enhance your experience but Spanish is not required for meaningful participation in the program
Where do participants stay in Oaxaca during the retreat?
The Academy provides double occupancy (2 persons per room) accommodations at the Retreat location. If you would like to have a private room during the Leadership Retreat, there is an additional fee of USD$300.
Does the Academy pay for airfare or transportation to the Oaxaca retreat?
No. The Academy does not pay for your travel expense to Mexico, passport fees, visas, personal expenses while in Mexico. You will have to make your own travel arrangements and pay for those costs directly.
Are meals provided by the Academy during the Oaxaca Leadership Retreat?
Yes. The Academy will provide meals to participants while in Mexico and information about dietary restrictions will be collected during the registration confirmation process.
Cost and Payment Details
How much does the Academy cost and what is included?
The Academy fee is USD$4,500. This includes the cost of the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment, all materials for the virtual classes and coaching sessions, as well as some costs associated with the Leadership Retreat in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Oaxaca Leadership Retreat expenses included are: group transportation, food, in-country double occupancy (2 persons per room) accommodations, cultural excursion fees and comprehensive travel/medical insurance. If you would like to have a private room during the Leadership Retreat, there is an additional fee of USD$300. Note: travel to Mexico is not included in the Academy fee and is to be paid for independently by participants.
What is not included in the Academy fee?
Travel expense to Mexico, passport fees, visas, personal expenses while in Mexico.
How do I make payment? Is there a payment plan?
Payments are accepted through PayPal. You can pay by either a bank transfer or a credit card.
Individual consideration for a payment plan may be available based on the Academy’s discretion.
What is the refund policy?
For the Class of 2017: prior to July 15, 2017, 50% of the deposit payment is refundable. If full payment of USD$4,500 has been made and cancellation is requested prior to August 15, 2017, the refund amount is USD$1,000. After August 15, 2017, there is no refund.