Dr. Lourdes Sutton Named to National Fellowship for Educator-Preparation Leaders

June 25, 2024
Lourdes Sutton Impact Fellow 2024

JERSEY CITY, N.J. | Dr. Lourdes Sutton, the Acting Dean of the Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolf College of Education, New Jersey City University (NJCU), has been named an Impact Academy fellow through national non-profit organization Deans for Impact (DFI). Dr. Sutton joins a national cohort of distinguished leaders chosen for their commitment to improving educator preparation.  

Dr. Sutton is one of 17 leaders announced as part of the fellowship’s ninth cohort. These fellows lead programs in 19 states from coast to coast, and 47 percent are leaders at institutions that serve a majority of aspiring teachers of color. Six are Minority-Serving Institutions, highlighted by NJCU as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, and others include Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions. Collectively, 48 percent of the aspiring teachers these institutions annually serve identify as people of color.

“It is an honor to have been selected as a fellow for the Deans for Impact Academy,” said Dr. Sutton. “I am especially proud as a graduate of NJCU who directly benefited during my own teacher preparation studies — a testament to the excellence of our programs here at NJCU. The Deans for Impact Fellowship Academy brings together deans of education from around the country who are deeply committed to the field of education, and to all students, kindergarten through college. I am hopeful that the diversity of perspectives, thoughtful, reflective feedback, and learning of the success other programs have achieved can help in our efforts here in the College of Education to provide high-quality programming to our teacher candidates, who will then serve our K-12 students as the best-prepared teachers in the state. At NJCU, the College of Education is committed to continuous improvement, and this fellowship opportunity will undoubtedly help drive that commitment and help us grow, develop, and offer the best teacher preparation program in the State of New Jersey.”

Dr. Sutton has two decades of experience as an educator and has held various positions within the College of Education. Prior to her arrival at NJCU, Dr. Sutton served as a public school teacher. She began her career in education as the recipient of the Geraldine R. Dodge Fellowship Award for Outstanding New Teacher in the State of New Jersey in 1996. In 2014, she was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from The National Society of Leadership and Success. She holds four K-12 teacher certifications. She also earned degrees in English Literature and Literacy Education from NJCU when it was known as Jersey City State College, and a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Northcentral University.

Educator-preparation programs today face complex challenges as they recruit and prepare teachers who are equipped to engage all PK-12 students in rigorous, equitable, and affirming learning experiences. More than ever, the field needs leaders who can strengthen and diversify the educator workforce. DFI aims to fill this need through its Impact Academy fellowship, which has empowered more than 130 dean-level leaders to date with skills, knowledge, and strategies to prioritize instructional quality and build more equitable systems of teaching and learning.

Fellows will participate in monthly learning sessions, receive one-on-one coaching from seasoned leaders, and engage in peer consultancies to address field-facing challenges in real time. They will hone their ability to engage faculty, staff, communities, and PK-12 partners in a shared vision for transformative change, grounded in a deep scientific understanding about how students learn.

“All students, and particularly students of color and students from underserved communities, deserve access to teachers who are well-prepared to engage them in rigorous and affirming learning experiences from day one,” says Valerie Sakimura, Executive Director of DFI. “We are thrilled to welcome a new cohort of leaders to Impact Academy who are committed to making that a reality, by doubling down on the essential role they play in making pathways into teaching more accessible, practice-based, and focused on evidence-based instruction.” 

To learn more about this year’s Impact Academy cohort, visit: deansforimpact.org/iac9-announcement

About NJCU: 
New Jersey City University is a comprehensive public regional institution of higher learning located in Jersey City, N.J., dedicated to the development of our students, our city, our communities, and our state. We are a game-changing force for our students and have been recognized as one of the top colleges in the nation improving their upward economic mobility. In fact, NJCU has been ranked No. 1 in New Jersey and Top 10 in the nation in the CollegeNET Social Mobility Index for 2023. Whether enrolled in one of our undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs at our three locations, NJCU students have access to an affordable, diverse environment, and an exceptionally supportive faculty. This prepares them to go on to become the next generation of workers and leaders who improve their communities and the State of New Jersey.

About Deans for Impact (DFI): 
DFI is a national non-profit organization committed to ensuring that every child is taught by a well-prepared teacher. DFI supports educator-preparation programs to bring the science of learning into teaching practice; partners with policymakers to ensure pathways into teaching are accessible, practice-based, and focused on instruction; and equips leaders with the tools to address today’s most pressing challenges in educator preparation. Guided by principles of learning science, DFI aims to help aspiring and early-career teachers create rigorous and inclusive classrooms where all children thrive. For more information, visit deansforimpact.org.


Ira Thor, Associate Vice President for University Communications | ithor@njcu.edu | 201-200-3301