UCLA Principal Leadership Institute

Leading for Justice

The Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) trains and supports a diverse group of individuals committed to the principles of academic excellence, equity, and integrity as a way to maximize achievement and opportunity for students in urban schools. The Principal Leadership Institute at UCLA has designed a rigorous 14-month program aligned with the California Administrative Professional Expectations (CAPEs) that will prepare the next generation of urban school leaders. The program grants a Master’s degree and completion of the courses required for the California Tier 1 Administrative Credential. The program is designed to attract outstanding educators who have administrative interests and recognized potential. The PLI utilizes the Reciprocal Learning Partnership Equity Framework.  

UCLA PLI 20th Anniversary Brochure

The UCLA Principal Leadership Institute is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, along with the Principal Leadership Institute at UC Berkeley.

PLI Cohort 19 Collective Statement

As leaders committed to social justice education, our work is sustained by an unyielding oppositional consciousness.
We believe it is essential to rethink, redefine, and diagnose.
We believe all people must be acknowledged and respected for who they are and the assets they bring.
We believe that fostering relationships is the foundation for eliminating inequities and marginalization.
We share power with community stakeholders and guide participation to build expertise.
We challenge deficit ideologies and cultivate a sense of belonging by validating, affirming, building and bridging students’ identities.
We engage in dialogue instead of debate, build capacity instead of continuing the bureaucratic status quo, and encourage questioning instead of demanding compliance.
Rather than acting as speaking police, we facilitate community discussions to unearth the root causes of bigotry.
To enact this vision, we need like-minded allies who value the social, cultural, and linguistic assets that every student brings.
We need liberation from bureaucracy and racist accountability policies that maintain the conditions of marginalization.
We need financial, school, and community resources to build the tools and structures needed to promote meaningful participation.
We need social-emotional support to care for ourselves and provide a holistic healing environment for our school communities.
We will be willing to take risks and advocate for students and families even when it is difficult.
We will be compassionate, powerful, and fearless activists.
We will lead by example with positive energy, humor, and love.

The PLI Experience

UCLA Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) in the News

Moore Hall

UCLA GSE&IS Again Ranked Among Top Schools by U.S. News and World Report

“Our excellence flows from the brilliance of our faculty and students, the ethic of social justice, and our authentic engagement with multiple communities in Los Angeles and beyond.  While we are mindful of the limitations and fluctuations in these rankings, we are nevertheless gratified to be reminded of the admiration and recognition of our work by our peers around the country.”

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Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) Alumni

My personal experience in PLI not only clarified the systemic issues prevalent in American education, but empowered me with the tools to challenge, disrupt, and work to erase such inequities. In a much broader sense, PLI is improving the profession by creating opportunities where best practices in education are being implemented daily through the collective efforts from its faculty, alumni, and current students.

Mikle McBride

Pathway Connections Specialist, Centinela Valley Union High School

My experience in the UCLA PLI program helped establish the foundation by which I serve as a social justice leader in urban public schools and communities. Unlike other traditional administrative programs, the PLI faculty and staff helped me transform my philosophies of education by sharing tools and insights that would allow me to evolve into a democratic leader whose goals are to establish school reform by creating collaborative opportunities for all stakeholders within the learning community.

Qiana O’Leary

Principal of Environmental Charter Middle School

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