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

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This institute is designed to serve the development needs of emerging leaders as well as to provide an basic 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 Online Learning 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.

“It changed my career. It gave me a community to be part of, full of colleagues and friends who can be counted on. The collaborations across institutions and across alumni years are incredible.”
— Garvey Pyke, IELOL 2010


  • Explore and define a personal understanding of leadership in online learning.
  • 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

  • Join a growing network of an international professionals engaged in leadership in online learning.
  • 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.
  • Receive a complementary registration to the IELOL Masters Class as a part of the Online Learning Consortium annual conference.

Who Should Attend

This IELOL experience is designed for:

  • Individuals positioned for leadership positions within their institutions.
  • Individuals with occupational titles such as manager, associate director, assistant director, etc… .
  • Individuals with responsibilities for leadership responsibilities of online learning 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 50 qualified participants.

“Participating in IELOL is the single most significant experience I have had in my career, one that is a career changer, literally. Not only was I able to start a project with IELOL that I later saw through to completion at my institution, but I also became part of a community of people in my area of expertise, a community that develops at IELOL and continues, even many years later. It is an invaluable experience for someone who intends to devote their career to online learning.” Video:

- Angela Velez-Solic

Program Deadlines

February 1st: IELOL 2014 open for applications
March 20th: IELOL 2014 application submission deadline
April 1st: Notification of Acceptance
April 15th: Confirmation of Acceptance

June 29: Registration deadline
July 22: Hotel reservations due

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

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