Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation Program (EELP) Award


Quality leadership preparation is essential to quality leadership practice. Research reveals an important relationship between preparation and leaders’ career outcomes, practices and school improvement efforts. To celebrate exemplary programs and encourage their development, UCEA has established an Award for Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation.
This award complements UCEA’s core mission to advance the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of all children and schools. Leadership educators are invited to nominate their programs for recognition at the UCEA Convention. The program or programs (up to three) determined most worthy of recognition will receive a cash award, an engraved plaque, and recognition in multiple UCEA publications. In addition, the award winning program(s) will be recognized at a session during the UCEA Convention, on the UCEA website, and through a case-study publication.
Award Criteria
Exemplary university-based educational leadership preparation programs have authentic, powerful and field-embedded learning experiences that connect research and theory with practice. Applications will be judged on the extent to which the program: 1) reflects UCEA’s research-based UCEA Institutional and Program Quality Criteria on the features, content, and experiences associated with effective leadership preparation, and 2) has demonstrated evidence of program effectiveness. A UCEA Selection Committee made up of individuals with strong expertise in educational leadership preparation will review and evaluate the nominees.
The Application
Applications are welcome from university-based educational leadership programs that prepare K-12 leaders for practice in elementary, middle or high schools, or programs focusing on the development of district level leadership.  One program from a school or college of education may apply. Applications must be submitted electronically, following the guidelines for both content information and file naming/formatting procedures.
Intent to apply deadline: Monday, April 30, 2018
Deadline to submit EELP application materials: Monday, July 2, 2018
  1. Step One Please fill in the statement of intent to apply at the following link by Monday, May 1st, 2017: This step will notify UCEA about your intention to submit an application and will trigger the development of a dropbox invitation.  All award application materials developed during step three will be deposited in your dropbox.  
  2. Step Two Conduct a Self Evaluation of your Program using the UCEA Institutional and Program Quality Criteria Rubric.
  3. Step Three Fill out a EELP Cover Sheet
  4. Step Four – Prepare parts I-V of the application and save each part as a separate PDF file by Thursday, June 29th.  Be sure all file names correspond to the applicable part, for example: Part.I.ProgramDescription.pdf.  Submit the Cover Sheet and Parts I-V by depositing them in the Dropbox noted in the explanation for Step One above.
    • Part I
      Program Description:  The program description should align to the research-based UCEA Institution and Program Quality Criteria, and it should be no more than 25 pages.  We recommend that programs consult the rubrics included in  and consider the program issues and questions included in the Tell Us About Your Program document when developing the program description.
    • Part II
      Course Content: Please provide syllabi for core courses in the program.
    • Part III
      Field Work: Please provide a field work guide describing field work requirements, documentation and assessments.
    • Part IV
      Program Effectiveness: Evidence of program effectiveness can include information, such as: key findings from follow-up studies of graduates, a summary of accreditation evaluations and reviews, etc. However, please do not exceed 10 pages of evidence.
    • Part V
      Faculty Vitae: Please provide a curriculum vitae for each faculty member who participates in the delivery of the program.
Program interested in applying for the EELP award should review the following webinar. Dr. Michelle Young, UCEA Executive Director, leads an interactive conversation with Dr. Shelby Cosner (2013 EELP award recipient) and Dr. Ann O’Doherty detailing the EELP award and application process from A to Z.
The discussion includes: 
  • Overview of the EELP application process
  • Insights from past reviewers
  • Discussion of what the application process and reviewer feedback offers programs
  • Opportunity for future applicants to have their questions answered

The application should have the support of the program head, department chair and dean as appropriate.
If you have further questions about the application or review process, please contact UCEA Headquarters at 434.243.1041 or ucea@virginia.edu

*Resources that review research on effective leadership preparation include:
Darling-Hammond, L., LaPointe, M., Meyerson, D., & Orr, M. T. (2007). Preparing school leaders for a changing world: Lessons from exemplary leadership development programs. Standford, CA: Standford University.
Murphy, J., & Vriesenga. M. (2004). Research on preparation programs in educational administration: An analysis. Columbia, MO: University Council for Educational Administration.
Young, M., Crow, G.M., Murphy, J., & Ogawa, R. (2009). Handbook of research on the education of school leaders. New York: Routledge.
Past Recipients
University of Washington – Leadership for Learning Program (L4L)
No award was given.
University of Denver Ritchie Program for School Leaders and Executive Leadership for Successful Schools
North Carolina State University Northeast Leadership Academy
University of Illinois –Chicago, Ed.D. in Urban Education Leadership
University of Texas-San Antonio, Urban School Leaders Collaborative