District Leadership Institute

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About DLI

The NCCEP District Leadership Institute is a deep learning experience for those in the GEAR UP community that seek to maximize the talent and leadership skills of district leaders serving GEAR UP students.

Over the course of ten months, the District Leadership Institute (DLI) initiates and engages a learning community of senior-level leaders in a profound learning experience focused on creating, sustaining, and strengthening the college-going culture in GEAR UP districts. The DLI examines the unique role of district leaders to leverage the impact that GEAR UP's federal resources provide in creating systemic change, with a resulting positive and sustainable impact on students’ college and career readiness.

DLI combines three in-person trainings (5 days total), opportunities for cohort problem-solving discussions throughout the year, and collaboration activities between GEAR UP program directors and district leaders. In addition, participants will join a tight-knit professional learning community to better lead effective college readiness strategies in districts of all sizes.

2019-20 DLI Convening Dates:


July 15-16, 2019, San Francisco, CA

Arrive: Sunday, July 14th by 5:00 pm
Depart: Tuesday, July 16th after 6:00 pm


February 24-25, 2020, Orlando, FL

Arrive: Sunday, Feb. 23rd by 5:00 pm
Depart: Tuesday, Feb. 25th after 6:00 pm


May 1, 2020, Dallas, TX

Arrive: Thursday, April 30th by 5:00 pm
Depart: Saturday, May 2nd

By participating in the DLI, your district’s senior leader(s) will:

  • Deepen the relationship with your district’s GEAR UP program team, resulting in data-driven results with a wider impact.

  • Increase the effectiveness of the district team in collaborating to implement a broad range of best practice strategies, approaches, and programs for at-risk students.

  • Reserve time to reflect on and analyze programs that work for creating a high-performing and sustainable college-going culture in your district.

  • Define and solve problems that hinder student success with a group of trusted colleagues.

  • Expand his/her national network of close colleagues, sharing ideas, questions, challenges, and successes through a guided series of cohort conversations.

Program Faculty

Dr. Alan Ingram is the former Deputy Commissioner for the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,  Superintendent of the Springfield Public School District, MA, and GEAR UP Director for Oklahoma City (OK).

Dr. John Barker is the Chief of Staff of Shelby County Public Schools in Memphis, TN and former Chief Accountability Officer for Chicago Public Schools (IL), Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Research, Evaluation and Assessment with the Memphis City Schools(TN), where he gained unique insights evaluating GEAR UP.

DLI Tuition

The tuition for the program is $5,000 per participant. Given the issues to be addressed in the Institute, districts are encouraged to bring leadership teams of up to a maxi­mum of three representatives.

Tuition fees do not include travel to the convenings, hotel accommodations, and other travel related cost. GEAR UP programs can leverage the five days of professional learning their senior leaders dedicate to the program as match.

Participants are expected to commit to attending each of the five sessions when applying and should reserve the in-person meeting dates. Class sizes are limited to facilitate group learning. Participants will be accepted to the program on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that: (1) full payment must be processed prior to the first convening (July 15), (2) tuition is not refundable, (3) substitutions are allowed only in coordination with NCCEP.