Principal Leadership Institute Program Overview

UCLA’s Principal Leadership Institute program (PLI) prepares educators to be social justice leaders in Los Angeles schools who:

  • Advocate for quality learning opportunities;
  • Improve teaching and learning;
  • Promote educational achievement for all students;
  • Create democratic and culturally-responsive learning environments;
  • Build partnerships with parents and community groups.

Through a 14-month program, the Principal Leadership Institute’s graduates become instructional leaders who understand what conditions are needed to promote rigorous, high quality learning. They become adult educators who support the development of teachers and staff, and they become community leaders who have the knowledge and commitment to forge partnerships with parents, grassroots community groups, civic leaders, and organized labor.

 

The PLI program starts during summer and continues through the next summer.

Students attend classes at UCLA while continuing to work with their schools and communities. Through coursework, students engage theory and recent research. Through field work in schools and communities, students grapple with critical questions of practice facing social justice educators.

The PLI program offers a tier-one administrative credential and a master’s degree in education.

We encourage applications from educators with:

  • Five or more years experience as a classroom teacher;
  • Experience working for educational justice with teachers;
  • Experience working for change alongside parents and community groups;
  • A commitment to Los Angeles youth and communities.

Leading for Justice

Applying for the 2023-24 academic year?

The application will be available from mid-September, 2022 through February 1, 2023.

Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) Alumni

Participating in UCLA Principal’s Leadership Institute provided me the opportunity to understand that most of the challenges we face in education are structural rather than instructional. The UCLA Professors pulled back a veil obscuring inequity hidden within the blueprints of the school system and with each class provided a new set of tools to rework the structure in collaboration with parents, students, and teachers. After graduation, their coaching network continues to support me personally and professionally as I advocate to change the rules for our students and community. Thank you PLI!”

Eilene Vasquez

My experience as a member of PLI Cohort 20 was an unprecedented year of firsts. Personally, it was the first time I felt comfortable showing up as my full, authentic and intersectional identity. PLI was refreshing in that I was fortunate enough to experience a journey alongside a community of social justice leaders and educators committed to self improvement and discovery. Dr. Bettina Love’s quote “Education cannot save us. We have to save education,” continues to motivate me in personal path in disrupting and eradicating educational inequality for students of color. Ultimately, my multifaceted PLI experience added more fuel to the inner flame that emboldens me to share my story and use my voice for this immensely difficult and important work toward social justice.

Brianna Richards
Brianna Richards