Approach to Leadership Development

How Does CPRL Develop Equity-Focused Public Education Leaders?  

Our semester-long course combines a rigorous seminar, practical skills training, and an immersive experience on a client-facing project. These opportunities allow students to:

  • Study and discuss how organizations become learning organizations committed to using problem-solving techniques to accelerate change and advance equity
  • Develop and refine skills needed to learn from and collaborate with diverse colleagues and stakeholders to pursue change
  • Collaborate and co-create with organizational leaders and their stakeholders to strategize, plan, and implement efforts that address urgent problems
  • Learn alongside peers from different professional schools and personal backgrounds

Students leave CPRL with the knowledge and skills needed to create more equitable school systems.


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What Is CPRL Like?

CPRL plays a pivotal role in our students' leadership development and career pathways.

"My team and I were responsible for helping draft and propose revisions to state regulations to maximize statewide compliance with high-quality instructional materials as well as design a communications strategy and project management plan for rolling out the new initiative. The most impactful moment was sitting in a room with senior state educational leaders as we presented our work and seeing firsthand how much they truly valued our help given the bandwidth and resources their team had at the time."

-Jasmine Ako, Fall 2018

"In just one semester, I engaged in rich classroom learning experiences and discussions, developed valuable new professional skills, and applied Evolutionary Learning and continuous improvement frameworks to develop sustainable solutions on behalf of a high-profile education sector client."

-Cameron Lineberger, Spring 2020

"CPRL was a fast-paced, constructive, and collaborative learning environment. Participating in CPRL allowed me the opportunity to engage with challenging, relevant, high-quality, and real-life learning experiences."

-Ramón Carranza Jr., Fall 2018 

"CPRL exposed me to tools, strategies, and practices that centered community members and those with lived experiences in catalyzing change within their communities and the systems in which they interact."

-Gabriella Barbosa, Spring 2012

"I use the skills I developed at CPRL daily, especially the ones I gained through my project work. I could have never imagined that they would be so relevant and valuable."

-Anna Herrero Tejada, Fall 2019

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Why Join CPRL?

Photo of CPRL alum Misbah Budhwani

Misbah Budhwani, CPRL Spring 2020

Columbia Business School

"I wanted to have a big impact by providing recommendations and advising educational organizations that would, in turn, affect change in schools and entire school districts. Having exposure to not just one classroom but also an entire educational organization was the experience that I was looking for and didn’t know how to find until I came to CPRL." 

Headshot of CPRL alumn Elizabeth Orem

Elizabeth Orem, CPRL Fall 2019

Columbia Law School

"I decided to join CPRL because I was burnt out from my first year of law school and wanted to reconnect with the values and goals that brought me to law school in the first place—namely, my passion for social justice." 

Head shot of CPRL alumn Joshua Elder

Joshua Elder, CPRL Spring 2017

Columbia School of International and Public Affairs

"I realized that CPRL would be a great opportunity for me to leverage my experience in education, join a cohort of others who were passionate about education and equity, and allow me to explore different pathways for the future." 

"CPRL has shaped my law school experience for the better. My semester as a student with CPRL, followed by two semesters as a teaching assistant for CPRL, granted me invaluable tools that I constantly used in my law classes, internships, externships, job interviews, and more." 

-Elizabeth Orem, Fall 2019

What Career Support Does CPRL Provide?

We offer multiple career services and networking resources to help students and alumni navigate their careers.

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CPRL alumni join our extensive network of CPRL staff, clients, and more than 500 fellow alumni, managing and leading change across the United States and the world. Visit Our Students and Alumni page to learn more about our alumni.

What Else Does CPRL Offer?

CPRL event with a panelist of high schoolers

We host public events related to timely topics in education. Visit Our Events page to see our recent events.

Graduate student walking

We offer career services and networking resources for current students and alumni. 

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Visiting students join the vibrant community created by Columbia University.

How Can I Join CPRL?

Graduate students at 25 professional programs at Columbia University and other universities around the country apply to our program. We offer our program in the fall and spring. Apply for an upcoming semester.