Initiative for Systemic Program Improvement through Research in Educational Leadership (INSPIRE)

The Initiative for Systemic Program Improvement through Research in Educational Leadership (INSPIRE) is designed for leadership preparation programs to solicit feedback from their graduates and alumni about:

  • Program features
  • Leadership learning outcomes
  • Leadership career intentions and advancement
  • Leadership practices
  • School improvement work
  • school climate, and
  • Student, parent and teacher engagement
  • Student learning outcomes

The INSPIRE survey suite was developed by a group of researchers from UCEA institutions. The survey team developed a strongly aligned and powerful suite of surveys designed for the purpose of facilitating program assessment (in the aggregate), accreditation and program improvement. The suite of surveys is aligned with the national ELCC leadership standards, the UCEA Institutional and Program Quality Criteria and provides a source of evidence on program outcomes.

Leadership Preparation Programs may use the INSPIRE suite for many purposes:

  • Provide relevant and timely information on program graduates and alumni, including:
    • feedback on program experiences, such as internship attributes
    • assessment of what graduates learned through the program
    • documentation of graduates’ career outcomes
    • ascertainment of graduates’ influence on their schools
  • Compare graduates’ experiences, for:
    • different cohorts
    • different program delivery options
    • subgroups of graduates (such as by gender, race/ethnicity and experience)
  • Provide evidence for state and national accreditation reports
  • Compare program features and delivery type with other programs regionally and nationally
  • Identify areas for program and course improvement
  • Make the case for program resources and support
  • Research the relationship between program design and delivery, graduate outcomes, and school improvement work

In addition, each participating institution receives a customized report that includes a brief overview of aggregate findings and useful data comparing the graduates with other INSPIRE respondents from participating institutions along various dimensions.

UCEA aggregates programs’ survey results for benchmarking and comparison purposes, as a field improvement resource.

The INSPIRE survey is made available for programs' use at a low cost. The survey is housed at the University of Utah. Its Utah Education Policy Center provides survey management and fielding support on behalf of UCEA.

School Leadership Program Directors have found INSPIRE results helpful in pinpointing program strengths and weaknesses, demonstrating improved graduate outcomes following program changes, and assessing differences among programs based on service delivery and sponsorship.

The INSPIRE survey suite has its roots in the work of the UCEA/LTEL-SIG Taskforce (University Council for Educational Administration/ Learning and Teaching in Educational Leadership Special Interest Group) on Evaluating Leadership Preparation Programs. This taskforce developed a number of surveys and individuals items, field tested them in a variety of programs and institutions, and sought to develop content validity and measurement reliability.