Foundations of Social Justice Leadership

The Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) offers a professional development program entitled Foundations of Social Justice Leadership (Foundations). The purpose of the Foundations program is to provide students a chance to engage in preliminary leadership development prior to commencing the formal PLI coursework leading to a Preliminary Administrative Credential and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. The curriculum is designed to expose participants to critical concepts related to equity, introduce the required state California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA), and provide a working knowledge of the Leadership Connections Rubric, a research based leadership rubric, aligned to California Administrator Performance Expectations, that guides the design of all PLI offerings.

The overarching design of Foundations is to provide a summer learning program that supports participants to develop an individualized plan to be implemented over the course of the subsequent school year. During the Foundations program, PLI instructors and leadership coaches lead sessions and activities that include a combination of whole group instruction, small group instruction, and individualized planning and support to take place virtually. Program content supports but does not replace the PLI curriculum. While professional development credits are available for optional purchase, this program is not approved for course credit through the UC Berkeley Graduate Division and therefore does not count towards degree programs.

The estimated minimum time commitment for this program is between 14-20 hours for Summer, and 15-20 hours for Fall/Spring. Participation in the Foundations program requires full participation in all program activities. Given that our students are full time working educators, we are flexible if or when scheduling conflicts arise. Goal setting and the design of leadership activities are individually tailored to the needs of each student, and is self-paced. For each theme, participants of the Foundations program can expand their interests as time allows. Thus, no maximum hour estimate is provided.

Summer Learning Modules

  • Distance Learning & Inequality 
  • Leadership Connections
  • Data Analysis for Educators & Intro to the Cal APA
  • Crafting Your Leadership Plan

Program Prerequisites

  • Clear teaching (or pupil personnel services) credential preferred, but not required
  • Desire to engage in formal or informal leadership roles (school-wide, departmental, grade level, etc)
  • Interest in equitable schools and social justice leadership

Course Details

  • Format: Online (Program will be offered in-person when county health regulations allow) 
  • Credit: 6 CEUs available through Dominican University (for additional cost)

How to Apply

Click here to complete the Foundations Application.

Applications due: January 31st

Notification of admission: March 31st

Deadline to Register: May 21st


For additional questions, please email

Foundations Sample Calendar



Deadline to enroll in Foundations

One day, 1-3 PM
July, 1st week
3 days, 1-3 PM
Theme 1: Distance Learning & Inequality
July, 2nd week
3 days, 1-3 PM
Theme 2: Leadership Connections
July, 3rd week
3 days, 1-3 PM
Theme 3: Data Analysis for Educators & Intro to the Cal APA
July, 4th week
Indvidual check-in meetings
Theme 4: Crafting Your Leadership Plan


1 evening, 7-9 PM

Sharing Progress & Group Problem Solving

1 evening, 7-9 PM
1 evening, 7-9 PM
Individual check-in meetings
Review and revision of individual planning tool


1 evening, 7-9 PM

Sharing Progress & Group Problem Solving

1 evening, 7-9 PM
Individual check-in meetings

Review and revision of individual planning tool