Dr. David Castelline, Director Barbara MacDonald, Administrator

All classes held at ACCEPT Education Collaborative 4 Tech Circle, Natick MA, 01760

FOR MORE INFORMATION Barbara MacDonald, Program Administrator eliadmin@accept.org

ACCEPT Educators Leadership Institute

ELI Instructors and staff: Top L to R: Mike Welch, Eva Thompson, Bob Desaulniers. Bottom L to R: Ruth Chapman, David Castelline, ELI Director, Gerry Leader, ELI Founder and Director Emeritus, Holli Caulfield. Not pictured are ELI Administrator, Barbara MacDonald and ELI instructors Bill Lupini, Henry Turner, Jennifer Santillo and Laurie Kirby.

ELI graduates apply for and are often chosen for top administrative leadership positions in both suburban and urban settings. ELI has been successful in placing over 200 graduates in leadership positions in the greater metro Boston area. Since its founding in 2003, ELI graduates have assumed educational leadership positions in a diversity of school districts.

The 18 month program consists of graduate course-work and a supervised practicum and may be completed while maintaining a full-time teaching or administrative position. For more information email: eliadmin@accept.org

ACCEPT’s Educator Leadership Institute (ELI) is a licensure program preparing teachers and administrators for Principal/Assistant Principal PreK-8 or 5-12. Upon completion of the coursework, ELI endorses the cohort of candidates to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for licensure. Candidates may also choose to receive a Master’s Degree in partnership with Fitchburg State University. Each new cohort begins in January.

Application Process:  

The Cohort 20 application and accompanying materials should be completed on a computer and emailed to Barbara MacDonald, ELI Administrator: eliadmin@accept.org. The application deadline is December 15, 2021.  

Please complete the application in Word format. The remaining documents can be sent as pdf’s which include two reference letters, a personal statement, a resume and evidence of passing MTEL’s Communication and Literacy Test or plans to take the MTEL tests.

Information Sessions:

We hold three Information Sessions in the fall. Our Information Sessions will be held at the ACCEPT Collaborative from 5:00 - 6:30 on:

Wednesday, October 13th Monday, November 8th Wednesday, December 1st

Although it is not a requirement for application or acceptance, we have found most prospective candidates desire a firsthand experience of the program prior to application. ELI holds three Information Sessions in the fall where prospective candidates have the opportunity to participate in a sample case study and discuss the program with current students, graduates and faculty. For a detailed description of the courses offered please click here.

Admissions Qualifications:

Possession of at least an initial teaching license or license in another educational role and completion of three full years of employment in a district-wide, school-based, or other educational setting. It is expected candidates will be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Accepted students should have the latest Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) version on an accessible computer and have access to a printer capable of producing multiple-page documents. Students should also be able to download materials online (high-speed internet) and check email daily for updates. A laptop for use in the classroom is not required.


ELI prepares teachers and administrators with leadership potential for Principal/Assistant Principal PreK-8 and 5-12 positions. Upon completion of the coursework, ELI endorses the cohort of candidates to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for licensure.

The program consists of graduate course work and a supervised practicum. The next 18-month program, starting in January 2022 and ending in June 2023, can be completed while maintaining a full-time teaching or administrative position.

Courses 2021-2023

We are currently holding our classes at ACCEPT Education Collaborative, 4 Tech Circle, Natick, MA 01760.

Spring Semester classes for Cohort 20:   Will be held at Accept Education Collaborative. Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 4:00 - 8:15 pm.

Summer Semester classes:   End of June 2022 through July 2022 – TBD | Summer classes at ACCEPT Education Collaborative are M-F from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm unless specified by the instructor

School Year 2022-2023 Practicum and Practicum Seminars:   Thursdays, September 2021 – June 2022 4:00 – 8:15 pm at ACCEPT Education Collaborative

No classes are held on federal and state holidays or public school breaks.

SEI Course:

In order to get an administrator’s license, candidates must have the SEI endorsement which can be obtained in one of 3 ways:

  1. Pass the MTEL test for SEI
  2. Complete the teacher’s SEI course (45 hrs) or
  3. Complete our SEI Administrator’s course in the fall (15 hrs).

ELI offers the administrator’s SEI course (endorsed by DESE). This course is offered in the fall (approximately 5 sessions) and is held one day a week separate from the regularly held Thursday afternoon ELI sessions. If a candidate has already completed the Teacher SEI course it is not necessary to take this optional course. The ELI course does not satisfy the requirement of 45 hours for teachers.

The 2022-2023 Tuition is listed below. An optional master’s degree in partnership with Fitchburg State University is offered with an accompanying fee charged for credits earned. The ELI courses comply with Fitchburg State’s requirements for the 30 credit master’s degree.

  • Tuition for the 18 month ELI program leading to recommendation for endorsement as a preK-8 or 5-12 Principal/Assistant Principal by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is $11,800.
  • Tuition for optional master’s degree (30 credits) in Educational Leadership and Management with partner Fitchburg State University is approximately $3,120.
  • Total tuition for the program including the optional master’s degree is $14,920
Reflections from ELI Graduates

“The program has had a profound impact to shaping my beliefs about school leadership and education. I feel that the lens through which I look at education has completely shifted, and I say this in a positive light. I look at things now with an administrator hat, though have learned too, that keeping my teacher hat close by and ready to use is also so important.”

“I could write pages about how the program has shaped who I am today as an aspiring leader. I have a much broader and deeper understanding of the complexity of school leadership and feel I have grown this year from someone who thought a lot about the work to someone ready to do the work.”

“I have loved every moment of this program (maybe not the PALS stress). I applied to the program to join a group of educators to push my thinking and discuss challenges in our field, learn from others to improve my own skills, and look ahead to how I might use my skills.

The program has addressed all of these. I looked forward to coming to class every week because of the engagement, discussions, and instructors. I left every class with so much to think about that I applied to my own job.”

“I have grown not only as a leader but as a person. I think the impact that the learning we have done in the past 18 months has had a tremendous impact on my relationships with current administrators and my relationship with the people I supervise. I have learned to look at situations both more globally (big picture) as well as to identify the minute influences that impact decision making.”

“It is incredible how much I have learned and grown as a leader.”