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.

Upcoming Events

My time at PLI was foundational to my growth as a social justice educator. I found the readings and projects in PLI to be so relevant and grounded in real praxis. It gave me the language to name the types of inequities that I was seeing in schools, and the rationale to keep pushing for justice. Being a part of PLI’s cohort model was important because public schools can be such isolating spaces, especially for educational leaders. Having a cohort of like minded comrades pushed my practice and gave me shoulders to lean on when the work got tough. Here I am more than a decade later and really in awe with the fact that I am part of a family of hundreds of social justice educators emanating out of Moore Hall at UCLA!”

John Lynch