Each ELP cohort is large enough to include students with many interests, but small enough to offer extensive opportunities for individuals to contribute to class discussions. Several principles guide the selection of each cohort. Students are sought who are full-time educators but who will benefit from support from other professionals while in the doctoral program. Students must be able to integrate a rigorous academic program into their professional and personal lives.

Cohort members (approximately 25 educators) with diverse experiences are sought to encourage new ways of thinking and learning. Students participate in a program that is intense and demanding, but within a student-centered and supportive environment. It is a fast-paced program in which students generally spend about 20-25 hours each week attending classes, completing class assignments, and working on group and individual projects.

Collaboration in teams is an essential part of the program. Students construct and communicate their experiences and beliefs to others, engage others’ support and cooperation, plan strategically and set goals, identify and meet the multiple needs of a variety of constituents, develop resources, negotiate, and build consensus in groups. Students are encouraged to apply what they learn to their own professional settings.

The Educational Leadership Program regards each student’s professional experience as a set of resources. Students learn from the experiences of other cohort members and alumni who work in schools and school districts, colleges, universities, and educational associations and foundations throughout Southern California. Students also interact with educators and policymakers who can and have achieved educational reforms.

A new cohort is admitted each year.