Leadership Support Program

LSP Introduction 2016

"The strength required to run a successful school can only come from the unbreakable bond that happens when educators begin to believe that they are part of a family. That is what I experienced during my journey through LSP."

– High School Principal

The University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with Bay Area school districts and other partners, offers Leadership Support Program (LSP), a Professional Clear Administrative Services Credential program.

LSP is the longest-running university-based induction program in California, supporting leaders since 2002. Participants in LSP include new administrators who have graduated from the UC Berkeley’s Principal Leadership Institute and other leaders from the Bay Area and across California.

Mission Statement

To induct and support a diverse community of school leaders who will improve California’s public schools that serve vulnerable and historically underserved students, with a particular focus on issues of equity and social justice.


The first years of a leader’s journey are often the most challenging, and novice leaders need systematic, intensive support in order to learn and grow. Through a set of structured opportunities and activities that promote serious, reflective practice, LSP participants deepen their understanding and refine their skills as educational leaders.

LSP enriches the leader’s ability to maintain focus on student and adult learning in urban schools. LSP leaders are distinctive because they:

  • Reflect on their own leadership identity, actions, and impact
  • Cultivate a collaborative school community
  • Build on student, family, and community assets
  • Create coherence and stability in ever-changing contexts
  • Use an equity and social justice compass to inform decisions
  • Inspire organizational actors to achieve durable academic, social, and civic participation outcomes for urban learners

"I wonder what kind of school [my school] would be now if I did not attend LSP. I know I would have made so many more mistakes and made the wrong leadership moves. I believe I am still developing as a leader and would not be as effective if it were not for LSP. I remember my first lesson in LSP1: how I show up, my presence and attitude determines my whole community’s day. I think that was when I realized how much my job and position impact the lives of so many. I am so grateful for these two years of seminars and coaching."

– Elementary School Principal

Our work is centered on the Leadership Connection Rubric, which exemplifies both a set of beliefs and clear outcomes for preparing, supporting and sustaining leaders. The LC Rubric aligns with and encompasses the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (CPSELs), with a specific emphasis on equity and social justice.

Leadership Connection Rubric Elements and Outcomes 

Leadership Element

School Leaders

1. Presence and Attitude 

Communicate a compelling presence and a steadfast belief in the power of the possible.

2. Identity and Relationships

Demonstrate personal and professional self-awareness and nourish trusting relationships in a culturally and racially diverse learning organization.

3. Equity and Advocacy 

Advocate for equitable academic, civic, and social-emotional outcomes for students who have been historically underserved by school and society.

4. Curriculum and Instruction

Cultivate high expectations and ensure durable academic and social-emotional learning outcomes for students and adults.

5. Organization and Systems

Align systems, structures, and resources that sustain a culturally consonant environment in the service of student learning.

6. Change and Coherence 

Engage all adults in the change efforts that respond collectively and coherently to the asset and challenges in schools and communities.

7. Assessment and Accountability

Exhibit a persistent focus on teacher and student outcomes by developing, aligning, and monitoring an equity-driven assessment system.

The Program

LSP’s unique features include:

  • Focus on social justice and equity: Our program is centered around the Leadership Connection Rubric, a set of standards that guide effective leadership for more equitable schools.

  • Intensive Coaching: Our coaches are experienced school leaders who have been trained in Coaching for Social Justice and Equity.

  • Cohort model: Students learn with and from fellow leaders from across the Bay Area in ongoing small-group Seminars, facilitated by a veteran school leader.

  • Personalized support: Goal-setting and support focused on the your individual strengths and challenges as a leader and the needs of your specific site/context 

  • Differentiated professional learning opportunities: Workshops, online learning modules, and access to additional resources offered by UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education and by our partner at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies  

In-person Seminars are held at UC Berkeley (in compliance with health regulations and University recommendations). To get a sense of a typical student experience during the LSP journey, read here.

"During LSP, I refined my practice as a leader to align systems, structures, resources, and operations in the service of optimizing equitable outcomes for all students. I learned that leaders need to build foundational knowledge of standards, curriculum, and instruction in order to foster a culture of high expectations and sustainable excellence for teachers and students; that we need to engage all constituents in change efforts to respond collectively and coherently to the assets and challenges in schools and communities; and that we need to consistently focus on improving student learning by using data from multiple measures to guide change efforts." 

– District Office Supervisor

Read here to find out what others say about their LSP experience.

Admissions and Fees

We will accept applications for the 2024–2026 cohort in Spring 2024.

Interested candidates must:

  • Hold a leadership administrative position
  • Possess (or have applied for) a valid California Preliminary Administrative Service Credential
  • Fees for the entire two-year program: $10,000


LSP is also available to those who live and work in the Los Angeles area. Known as LSPLA, the program is offered in partnership with the Principal Leadership Institute at UCLA Center X and features the same commission-approved program content and components, but with online Seminars and coaching based in LA.

LSPLA requires a different application process than the one above. Alumni of UCLA PLI and other LA area school leaders interested in LSPLA should follow directions here or contact Dee Dee Lonon, UCLA Site Manager.


Viet Nguyen headshot

Viet Nguyen
Coordinator, Leadership Support Program

Berkeley Way West #4408
2121 Berkeley Way

vietnguyen@berkeley.edu or bse-lsp@berkeley.edu

LSP Staff 

Davida (Dee Dee) Desmond
Assistant Coordinator, LSP

Yelena Zakharyevich
Operations Manager, Leadership Programs

Soraya Sablo Sutton

Dr. Soraya Sablo Sutton
Program Director  
Principal Leadership Institute

Staff contact 
Brian Luna