HERS Programs for all Career Stages

Have questions about the portfolio of HERS programs and which is the best fit for your career stage and learning objectives? Find answers below. If you have a question that isn’t addressed below, please email us at hers@HERSNetwork.org.

HERS History and Program Objectives  

What is the history of HERS, and how has it changed over the years? HERS was founded in 1972 to create and sustain a diverse community of women-identified leaders through leadership development programs and other strategies, with a commitment to achieving equity, inclusivity, and excellence in higher education. In 1976, HERS launched the first HERS Leadership Institute, which has served 6,000+ women across 1200+ institutions. In 2016, Next Stages Next Steps was added to offer a dedicated career development workshop focused on guiding mid-late career women through the academic search process of a specific senior leadership role. From 2020-2021, HERS expanded to include five new workshops to serve women at all career stages and launched the HERS Network to keep participants connected beyond completing a program.  

What differentiates HERS from other leadership and career development programs? What differentiates HERS is 50 years of experience as the only organization exclusively committed to closing the gender gap in higher education leadership. HERS has been thinking about, improving, and delivering what women-identified leaders need to advance in higher education for five decades. And we have leveraged the collective expertise of the HERS Network, over 6,000 women leaders, to accomplish this. The HERS difference is the breadth of knowledge and experience you’ll gain from our facilitators and your classmates, who have either been in your shoes or will be soon.  

After completing a HERS program, you will know more about higher education and more about yourself as a leader. You will gain new perspectives and insight from leading practitioners and scholars and clarify how you’ll implement strategies and new tools as a campus leader. And you will join a national HERS network of women, championing one another’s leadership goals.

HERS Programs by Career Stage and Focus 

How do I determine which program is the best fit for me? The HERS program portfolio has specific skill-building learning objectives for different career stages and focuses on either leadership or career development rather than both simultaneously. Review the HERS program overview page for a detailed breakdown of programs by career stage.   

We recommend reviewing the list of HERS programs for each career stage to determine which is the best fit for where you are in your career or leadership journey and what your personal goals are. Before registering, think about who and where you are today, and the leader you want to become, or the career you’re dreaming of reaching. If you don’t have a specific career path defined yet or are still finding your leadership identity and voice, that’s OK. HERS programs are designed to meet you where you are.   

How do HERS programs vary by time, place, and cost? Programs for early-career women with 0-5 years of experience range from $70 to $700 in price and are all online at this time. Programs for mid-to-late career women with 5-8+ years of experience range from $70 to $8,500 and are online and in-person. The only programs that will be in-person for the next couple of years are the HERS Leadership Institute (in Boston, Denver, and Philadelphia) and Next Stages Next Steps (in Chicago and Denver).   

The HERS Leadership Institute is offered three times a year and varies by time to complete based on the format (ranging from nine days to six months). Next Stages Next Steps is offered two times a year, every January and August, and typically takes three days to complete the workshop. All other workshops and webinars are typically offered twice a year, in the spring and fall, and take an average of three months to complete:   

    • HERSconnect Webinar Series ($69 each or $239 for 4-part series) — four months  
    • Inclusive leadership Series ($149 for two sessions)– two weeks  
    • Women’s Leadership Resilience ($699 for five sessions) – five months  
    • Next Stages Next Steps ($2,099 or $1,799 for early registrants) – three days  
    • Unleash Your Career ($999 or 899 or early registrants) – three months 
    • 360 Leadership Assessment ($2,599 for five sessions) – three months 

Is financial assistance available? Yes. We have limited assistance funds available for each cohort, first come, first serve, and granted based on individual and institutional needs. Our funds are primarily reserved for the HERS Leadership Institute and women at under-resourced and underrepresented institutions such as HBCUs, Tribal Colleges, and Community Colleges to foster as diverse and equitable cohorts as possible. 

To be considered for financial support, please follow these steps: 

    1. Submit your application for the Leadership Institute by the deadline.  
    2. After you submit your application, contact cdempsey@HERSNetwork.org to request our application form for financial support.  
    3. After you submit your application and the request for financial support, our team will notify you if you meet our criteria and if funds are still available.  

If I don’t have sponsorship from my institution and don’t qualify for the scholarship, what other payment or funding options are available? Payment plan options are available for the HERS Leadership Institute. We offer monthly payment plans for anyone who submits their application by the early application deadline and completes our payment plan request after receiving their decision letter. 

What are the pros and cons for each format of the HERS Leadership Institute? The HERS Leadership Institute (HLI) core curriculum is the same across all formats and covers three focus areas: know your organization, identify the resources available to you, and know yourself.  Each cohort includes networking opportunities and culminates with a self-designed capstone project, where participants can apply the knowledge they’ve gained to a case study that they can immediately implement within their current role and institution. The transformational experience is a pro and consistent across all formats. However, the schedule and immersion intensity are intentionally varied to create more options for diverse schedules and learning modality preferences.   

    • The Intensive HLI is the most immersive residential experience, completed in nine consecutive days (typically in June or July).  
    • The Weekend HLI is staggered over four weekends, from Thursday at 8:00 am to Saturday at 12:00 pm EST, and completed in six months (typically October to March).  
    • The Online HLI is 100% virtual with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning, for twelve staggered weekly sessions on Wednesdays over four months (typically January/February to April/May).  

The pros and cons for each come down to your personal preference and availability for each format. The rigorous curriculum, learning outcomes, pricing, and transformative quality of the experience are the same from format to format – only the mode of delivery is different. Each format may have pros and cons that may outweigh one another based on what will work best for YOU. 

Are HERS programs relevant for women outside of academia? Almost all early-career HERS programs are relevant for women working outside of academia or interested in potentially making the transition. Some cohort themes focus on higher education trends, but it will be apparent in the program descriptionThese offerings include. These offerings include:  

    • HERSconnect Webinar Series  
    • Inclusive Leadership Series 
    • Women’s Leadership Resilience 

What programs would be best for me if I don’t work at an institution but manage a program for higher education leaders and frequently engage with academic colleagues? If you don’t currently work at a higher education institution, you will not receive the same benefit from the HERS Leadership Institute as those that do. The HLI is designed to help you find and harness your leadership voice and will help you discover how to effectively leverage the resources around you to lead organizational change on your campus. If you do not work at a higher education institution but still interface with colleagues in academia, the following workshops will still be relevant:  

    • Inclusive Leadership Series  
    • Women’s Leadership Resilience  
    • Unleash Your Career    

Is there training (or events) specific to women within the BIPOC community or other intersectional topics? We were in the process of developing a new program for women of color as COVID-19 continued to impact the country. Please stay in communication with us. The HLI does offer vibrant discussions of inclusive leadership and makes space for Black women and other affinity and identity groups to meet and discuss issues unique to their lived experience within higher education.

Do any of the programs cover how to negotiate salary as an experienced manager or educator? No, we won’t talk about negotiating salary. If negotiating salary is of interest to you we suggest considering Unleash Your Career or Next Stages Next Steps depending on where you are in your job search process 

I’m interested in updating my CV to look for my next role. What program covers this? Next Stages Next Steps will help you prepare job application materials that best demonstrate your qualification for the job, including your resume. This program is designed to equip women applying to leadership positions with the insight, skills, and practice needed to navigate the often challenging academic search process. Learn more >>

How has HERS responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what are the plans for in-person programs or events?  We know you are concerned about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic because we are too. We know many campuses continue to be impacted, but these challenges have not stopped us from pursuing our mission: advancing women leaders. 

In March 2020, HERS moved all in-person programs to online delivery. We plan to resume delivering residential programs in November 2021, starting with the Weekend 2021-2022 HERS Leadership Institute in Boston and the January 2022 cohort of Next Stages Next Steps in Denver. We will continue to monitor the evolving pandemic and follow updates to national and local guidelines – including any relevant vaccination requirements and mask mandates in place at our host venues. We will communicate all health guidelines and requirements to registrants as they are made public and updated. Additionally, we will continue to have online contingency plans in place in case there is a resurgence and a transition back to virtual learning is determined to be the safest option by national and local health guidelines. All updates to our delivery plans can be found on the COVID-19 response page. 

Other HERS Services 

How do you become a member of the HERS Network? The HERS Network is an exclusive online networking and learning platform for members who identify as women at various stages of their careers and have graduated from the Leadership Institute or a HERS workshop. If you qualify for this membership, you can activate the trial membership for free until January 31, 2022. There are two membership levels with unique benefits: 

Institute Alumnae Membership ($69/year) – For graduates of the HERS Leadership Institute.  

    • Access to the Institute Alumnae Directory of 3,000+ email addresses 
    • Access to all public HERS Network groups  
    • Access to your private cohort group.   
    • Access to the library of free HERSconnect webinar recordings  
    • Access to exclusive HERS Network events  
    • Discounted pricing for future premiere HERSconnect webinar series  

Workshop & Seminar Graduates ($39/year) – For graduates of HERS workshops (does not include HERSconnect webinars)  

    • Access to all public HERS Network groups  
    • Access to your private cohort messaging group.   
    • Access to the library of free HERSconnect webinar recordings  
    • Access to exclusive HERS Network events

How can I find out if a woman from my institution completed the HERS leadership Institute and is a member of the HERS Network? Can I contact them?  

If you are a member of the HERS Network who is also an alum of the HERS Leadership Institute, you can find fellow alums at your institution through the alumnae directory. To access the HERS Alumnae directory, you must be logged into your account and have an active membership. Tips for accessing and using the alumnae directory are outlined on the how to join the HERS Network page. If you would like to contact an alumna, click on their name and select the “Contact Me” button. 

If my institution is a HERS partner, how do I apply for the HERS Leadership Institute? First, congratulations on working at a place that values and supports women’s leadership. Most likely, your employer has an internal selection process running through the women’s center, human resources, academic affairs, or the president or chancellor’s office. Please email us at hers@hersnetwork.org to confirm your school’s status and learn who your campus contact is. 

If I’m not a HERS Network member, and my institution is not a HERS partner, can I still be put in touch with HERS alumnae from my institution? Yes, email hers@hersnetwork.org to let us know you’d like assistance with this. We’ll need to reach out to the alum to request their approval to share their contact info and connect you if approved.