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Institute Overview

The application submission deadline for IELOL 2013 has passed. Please consider applying for IELOL 2014.

Please use this online application to attend the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL).


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

Group photo of IELOL members

This institute is designed to serve the leadership development needs of professionals in the rapidly expanding field of online learning.

IELOL is a four-step leadership development program. The program begins with a two-week IELOL online experience designed to identify and focus attention on key leadership challenges at the participants’ organizations. 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 the emerging leader. A three-week online follow-up program provides senior-level mentoring and consulting for the participants as they apply the newly-acquired skills and concepts in their local settings. The program culminates with a preconference workshop at the annual Sloan Consortium ALN conference in Orlando.

This is the fifth year for the program. We now have more than 130 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

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
  • Immersive, team-building case study
  • Strategize through the development of a vision for the future of online learning within your institution
  • Receive an annual individual membership in Sloan Consortium
  • Participate in a network of professionals and engagement with a growing IELOL alum community

Who Should Attend

This IELOL experience is designed for:

  • persons positioned for leadership contributions in their institutions
  • persons with such occupational titles as manager, associate director, assistant director
  • personnel with responsibilities for online education initiatives

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
  • 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 40 participants.

Program Deadlines

April 26: Application submission deadline
June 29: Registration deadline
July 6: Hotel reservations are due
July 15–26: Two-week IELOL Online
August 5–8: Immersive experience at Penn State
September 16–October 4: Three-week IELOL Online
November 20–22: Sloan-C Annual Conference

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