Mission & History

Learn about the Center's mission and goals.

The Center for Urban Education Leadership, established at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2011, researches innovative models of school principal leadership preparation and development with the goal of putting great leaders in every school nationwide. Working closely with UIC’s EdD Urban Education Leadership doctoral program, the Center’s research and advocacy focuses on the particular needs and challenges of America’s most high-need urban school districts.

The mission and core values of the Center and EdD program have been guided by the following question: "What would it take to consistently prepare urban school leaders to measurably improve student learning in high need schools?"

The Center and EdD program seek to achieve two things: first, to provide principals who dramatically improve student learning in high-need schools; and second, to advocate to policymakers and the public a financially sustainable model for preparing these school leaders. We believe that transformative principals are not just born, but can be developed at scale.

We believe that all children can learn no matter how challenging conditions are, and we believe the key to their success is combination of committed and competent teachers working together with a skilled and visionary leader.