For 55 years, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has prepared fearless and unapologetic champions for equity in education and workforce development

Our Goals


partners nationwide.


leaders to improve opportunities and outcomes.


leaders and support them in organizing their communities.

Increase equity impact in

communities where opportunities are lacking the most.

We prepare and support leaders.

IEL equips 2,000 leaders in 100 communities to engage policymakers and fight for change in their communities.

We prepare and support leaders of all ages, stages, and contexts who can work effectively across sectors.

  IEL collaborates with leaders and policymakers to ensure that transition age youth have access to high-quality services in education, employment, and independent living.

We mobilize leaders.

 We join forces with over 250 partners nationwide to improve opportunities and outcomes in education and workforce development.

 IEL mobilizes and supports 500 community leaders with the tools and skills needed to address inequity and injustice within the community.

 We advance policy at the national and state levels in support of leaders and their communities.

We innovate.

 We create innovative solutions that address employment and career readiness of young people and adults.

 We equip leaders with tools to eliminate systemic barriers in accessibility for people with disabilities and at-risk youth.

 We model and simulate policy and program ideas that promise to increase access and outcomes in education, youth development, and workforce development before implementing and scaling them.

About IEL

A society that uses all of its resources effectively to provide an equal opportunity for all children and youth to learn, develop, and become contributing citizens of our democracy.

To partner with under-resourced communities to equip leaders to better prepare children, youth, adults, and families for postsecondary education and training, rewarding careers, and civic and community engagement..

We are a 55-year old diverse national nonprofit that acts as a catalyst and capacity builder at the intersection of education and workforce development. We are an organization that values equity, inclusion, cross-sector collaboration, and impact. We are deeply committed to working with strategic partners to identify and implement high-quality innovation and leadership development at scale, where significant educational, economic, and social challenges or gaps exist. IEL has developed, trained, and supported thousands of leaders across its vast networks. IEL has leadership proficiencies and assets—a diverse, highly-educated, and multi-generational team; demonstrated leadership capacity; research and development abilities; network development, community organizing, and professional development and support—that reflect our strengths and are the foundation on which we will build many years to come.

Our Big Idea

Notwithstanding numerous reforms and incremental progress, we have not as a nation been able to achieve equity in education and workforce development over the last 55 years. Our big idea is that we can improve opportunity and outcomes and close gaps in access and achievement in education and workforce development through innovation and leadership development. If we invest in community leaders of all ages, stages, and sectors, we can change the odds.


Our programs are the vehicles to achieving our goals of mobilizing, preparing,
and supporting innovative leaders. Find out how IEL’s programs support Rise Up for Equity.


The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)™ develops a diverse and collaborative community of strategic leaders for effective public policy.

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The YSP/KSA initiative identifies ten competencies needed by professionals who work with professionals who support youth with disabilities transitioning to the worlds of work and adult life. It provides tools, materials, and training to build staff skills and systems.

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Coalition for Community Schools is partnering with over 200 organizations to implement 25,000 Community Schools by 2025.

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The Family and Community Engagement Network organizes District Leaders from over 190 Schools Districts.

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A challenge to communities to design innovative education and training models that create social equity and economic mobility, driven by the market demands of business and industry as well as the needs of youth and adult learners.

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Unites Centers in 10 states and works through educational institutions and workforce and economic development agencies to help prepare a stronger workforce.

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NCWD/Youth, created in 2001, is composed of partners with expertise in education, youth development, disability, employment, workforce development, and family issues.

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The Right Turn Career-Focused Transition Initiative (Right Turn) provides a career development process for youth that is involved with or at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system.

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RAMP is a high-tech, career-focused mentoring program for youth involved with or at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system.

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Rise Up

A confident man pointing out to the distance during his speech

I am bold, unapologetic and ready to Rise Up for Equity to make a difference in my community!

People supporting community schools #Partner4Equaity

Join our network of more than 250 partners nationwide. Partner with IEL and bring one or more of our programs to your community.

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YOUR SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL TO OUR WORK. Remember donations may be doubled if your company offers a matching gifts program. We look forward to your continued support.


Want to learn more about our Rise Up for Equity Initiative or IEL?  Contact us today!

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