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Frequently Asked Questions

AISH Leadership Series

Who are the courses for?

The courses are for Heads and Deputy Heads of School, aspiring Heads, and other school leaders.

May we take the course as a leadership team?

Yes, in fact, we encourage collaboration in all of our Impact courses.  While the courses were developed “for Heads by Heads” of International Schools, we find the content is applicable to all school leaders.  To take the course as a team, is a powerful way to learn and move a school forward.

If you are interested in taking the course as a team, please contact for a team discount.

Are there any technical requirements or prerequisites?

Participants will need a working computer, access to the internet, and a functional webcam. Unless specified in the course description, there are no prerequisites for AISH courses.

How much do the courses cost?

The Skills courses are free to AISH members and $50 per course for non-AISH members. 

The Impact courses are $375 for AISH members and $575 for non-AISH members.

Can I work at my own time and pace?

The Skills courses are done at your own time and pace. 

The Impact courses are a month in duration and start and end on the same date.  A Course Facilitator will guide you through weekly reading and discussion that can be done at your own pace and time during the time frame that the course is open.

What’s the difference between a Skills course and an Impact course?

Each topic has a Skills course and an Impact course. The Skills courses can be accomplished online in 1-2 hours.  You’ll gain an understanding of the topic, obtain resources, and acquire insights that can immediately be applied to your practice. You’ll also be invited to take a deeper dive and register for an AISH Impact course. They are done on your own time without a cohort group for discussions or a Course Facilitator to give you feedback and assistance.

AISH’s Leadership Impact courses are for four weeks, 3-5 hours a week.  Based on the same topic as the Skills course, the framework reflects what we know about great learning. Goals and activities are customized around your interests and needs.  An experienced AISH leader will engage you and a cohort group in practical, job-embedded discussions and activities designed for immediate application and impact. Resources are curated and relevant and you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on your experience in a forum of colleagues.

How much time should I expect?

The Skills courses can be accomplished in 1-2 hours but you can return to the course and access resources and material at any point.  The Impact courses are for four weeks, 3-5 hours a week.

Will I be able to access the course material after the course?

We keep our Skills courses open indefinitely.  Once you have registered, you can access the resources at any time and over and over again.

We keep our Impact courses open for up to two weeks after the course ends. We do not leave courses open indefinitely because the hallmark of our Impact courses is the relationships between participants and the coaches. We will communicate the course close date with you ahead of time.

What should I expect?

Skills courses are designed to offer you curated content and activities on a topic so that by the end of the course, you have a good understanding of the leadership issue. You can expect to be reading articles and watching videos from curated playlists. You can also expect to get some strategies and insights from respected Heads of International Schools in the area that are immediately applicable.

Impact courses are designed to be hands-on and highly interactive. Participants are expected to log into their course weekly and commit approximately 3-5 hours per week. Whether it’s a discussion, work on a project, or reading for the course, clear timeframes for the completion of coursework will be provided by the instructor, a respected and knowledgeable Head of School in the area. Just as with a traditional learning environment, participants are expected to communicate and collaborate with peers asynchronously (at different times, using online discussion tools).

Who designs and facilitates the courses?

Our courses are designed and facilitated by Heads of International Schools who are educational leaders with practical experience and expertise in the topic.

Why should I take an AISH course?

The Leadership Skills courses are for leaders committed to continuous improvement and honing their skills. Mapped to the AISH Standards and Threads, each course addresses a critical issue identified by International Heads of School. Specifically, participants will enhance their current practice and have the flexibility to learn at a time and place that works for their individual schedules.

Will there be any more courses?

Yes, our aim is to produce more courses.  The AISH Board will make the decision in 2021, regarding the next round of courses that are aligned to the AISH Standards and Threads.

Is there credit available or CEU’s?

At the completion of the Impact course you will receive an AISH certificate with the course title, dates, and number of hours.  The certificate will be signed by the AISH CEO and Board Chair.  You will also receive an electronic badge.

What if I complete all six Impact courses?

Upon successful completion of six AISH Impact courses (one in each Standards area) and review of work by AISH panel, you will receive an AISH Leadership Certificate.  The first six courses are the first phase of AISH’s online Leadership Series, with additional courses planned for development and release in 2022.


What is AISH?

AISH is the Academy for International School Heads.  It consists of 500+ Heads and Deputy Heads of International Schools, in over 100 different countries and of 45 different nationalities.  It was started in 1999 and is a nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Trustees of 20 International Heads of School.

What is AISH’s mission?

The Academy serves International School Heads through focused advocacy, support, and professional development.

What are the AISH Standards and Threads? AISH defines leadership in terms of Threads and Standards. The content of each course in this online Leadership Series is aligned to a specific Standard. There are six research-based standards which are the various areas of responsibility that leaders must implement for effective leadership.  The capture the “what” of the position of Head of an International School.

We also know that the “how” is critically important.  How does an individual leader develop and grows the skills and practices necessary for a school community to thrive? The Threads of Leadership are the core competencies necessary to truly master any area of leadership. AISH’s Threads are: 

  • Model the Way
  • Inspire a Shared Vision for Learning 
  • Challenge the Process 
  • Enable Others to Act 
  • Encourage the Heart 

The AISH Standards and Threads are explained in detail in the Leadership Playbook, which is open-source and available to view or download on our website,

Who can join AISH?

Membership is open to Heads and Deputy Heads of International Schools. We also have Associate Memberships for those who aspire toward the Headship.

The online Leadership Series is open, however, to any school leader.