Institute Overview

IELOL Primer (Online): July 13–July 31, 2015
On-site: August 10–13, 2015, State College, Pennsylvania
Project (Online): and September 12–October 2, 2015
OLC Pre-conference Workshop: Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Institute for Engaged Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) is a unique blended-learning leadership development program sponsored by Penn State and the Sloan Consortium.

IELOL Participants

This institute is designed to serve the development needs of emerging leaders as well as to provide an orientation to the issues and forces facing online learning for established leaders.

IELOL is a four-step leadership development program. The program begins with a three-week IELOL online experience designed to identify and focus attention on key leadership challenges in online learning. The second step is an on-site immersive experience at Penn State that enables the IELOL participant to develop specific leadership skills, styles, networks, and strategies for leadership by understanding the dynamic forces in the field. A three-week online follow-up program provides senior-level mentoring and consulting for the participants as they apply the newly-acquired skills and information in their local settings. The program culminates with a pre-conference IELOL Masters workshop at the annual Sloan Consortium ALN conference in Orlando.

IELOL is a cohort-based program requiring a variety of individual, group, and team project work including a team-based case-study. It is expected that participants fully participate in all aspects of the program in order to build community and maximize the potential of IELOL for all participants.

The IELOL community consists of over 170 alums who continue to network and use the skills they developed in the institute. We have received many enthusiastic testimonials, and some excellent feedback that continues to help shape the program.

Being a participant in IELOL has reshaped my thinking and helped me work more purposefully to lead my university into online learning. I have come to see how important it is to balance day-to-day operational tasks with leadership activities as I help folks at my institution transform their thinking and change old paradigms. The IELOL program content was “spot-on” regarding leadership challenges common to universities, and the IELOL facilitators were knowledgeable, engaging, and helpful throughout the program. Best of all, now I am part of an IELOL alum group that is a tremendous resource for me going forward!
— Katie Jacobson, Point Loma College, IELOL 2012


  • Develop an understanding of the role of online learning in a rapidly changing higher education context.
  • Conceptualize a leadership perspective to address institutional challenges in higher education.
  • Recognize and seize institutional opportunities for leadership in online education.
  • Establish a network of international colleagues involved in a variety of online education initiatives.
  • Identify the leading forces impacting higher education and online learning globally.

Benefits of Attending

  • Interact with national- and international-level leaders in the field of higher and online education.
  • Experience leadership-development thinking in order to respond to online learning opportunities.
  • Participate in an immersive, team-building case study.
  • Formulate a strategy for defining of a vision for the future of online learning within your institution.
  • Receive a one-year annual individual membership in Sloan Consortium.
  • Participate in a network of professionals and engagement with a growing IELOL alumni community.

Who Should Attend

This IELOL experience is designed for:

  • Individuals positioned for leadership contributions in their institutions.
  • Individuals with occupational titles such as manager, associate director, assistant director, etc… .
  • Individuals with responsibilities for leadership responsibilities of online education initiatives.
  • Multiple applications from the same institutions are accepted however there is no guarantee of acceptance of multiple applicants.

Applications, with supporting nominations, will be reviewed at the close of the application deadline. Preference will be given to candidates with the following qualifications:

  • Three to five years of experience in higher education.
  • Leaders assuming responsibilities for online learning.
  • Desire to further develop their leadership capability in online education.
  • Ability to apply the leadership skills and competencies to an institutional setting.
  • Willingness to contribute to high-production project teams during the institute.

This is a limited-enrollment program. Enrollments for IELOL are limited to 45 qualified participants.

Program Deadlines

February 1st: IELOL 2014 open for applications
April 1st: IELOL 2014 application submission deadline
June 29: Registration deadline
July 22: Hotel reservations due
Online Primer: July 14–August 1, 2014
On-site: August 11–14, 2014, State College, Pennsylvania
IELOL Project (Online): September 13–October 3, 2014
Sloan-C Pre-conference Workshop: Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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