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Principal Leadership Institute (PLI)

In the Principal Leadership Institute program, students are prepared to be social justice leaders in urban schools. The program is designed for outstanding educators who have administrative interests and recognized potential. PLI  is housed in Center X at UCLA Ed&IS. The program offers a Master’s degree and completion of the courses required for the California Tier 1 Administrative Credential.
Mann UCLA Community School students gathered around principal


Overview of Program

The Principal Leadership Institute 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.

PLI 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 PLI utilizes the Reciprocal Learning Partnership Equity Framework.

UCLA’s Principal Leadership Institute program 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.

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.

Visit the PLI Main page at UCLA Center X.


What Graduates Do

Our community of exceptional educators and urban leaders are working to achieve equitable, accessible, and effective learning for all.
Leyda Garcia
Leyda Garcia, '07
Principal of UCLA Community School
UCLA Community School’s holistic view of students and their lives contributes to the wider needs of the neighborhood. “At our school, we serve the community because we belong to one another, and appreciate the profound richness of cultures, languages, experiences, trajectories, and the future together."
Daryl Brook
Daryl Brook
Principal, New Los Angeles Charter
"My experience in PLI was transformational. In spite of over 15 years of teaching for social justice, it was not until the experience of working intimately with talented colleagues under the inspiring tutelage of instructors in this program that I felt I truly discovered my role and purpose."
Mikle McBride
Mikle McBride
Pathway Connections Specialist, Centinela Valley Union High School
"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. 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."
Our Students
Visit the student directory and see what they are working on.

Admissions Resources


Contact Us

PLI Director
PLI Program Coordinator
PLI Student Affairs Officer/Credential Analyst