Supporting our Mountain Partners

The Morgridge College of Education is accepting applications for the fall 2017 start of the nationally recognized Executive Leadership for Successful Schools (ELSS) Mountain cohort that begins on September 16, 2017. The ELSS Mountain Cohort is a principal preparation program that is designed to fit the needs of educators located in the mountain communities and districts of Colorado. Housed in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) Department, the program has received local and national recognition for its innovative approach that embraces aligns to the real work of school leaders by integrating coursework and an internship.

The cohort structure builds a strong network of leaders and the combination of online and 6 in-person Saturday workshops  in the mountain region and 4 interactive webinars provides rich and relevant learning in a flexible structure flexibility for participants. The Certificate program – which qualifies graduates for Colorado Principal licensure – is completed in one year, and students can continue to earn a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with 3 additional quarters of coursework. Our school-based projects support authentic, deep learning that’s applicable to the complexities leaders face in their communities every day. We are committed to providing learning experiences that are customized to the unique needs of your local contexts.

DU deeply values its partnership with the mountain communities. To learn more please contact our office of admissions at or call 303-871-2509.


“It is hard for me to imagine a more impactful program exists in preparing educators with hands on, real world application so successfully. What a terrific learning experience!” – Laura Rupert, Kindergarten Teacher, Summit Cove Elementary, Summit School District

Mountain Cohort GRADUATE Success

Kendra CarpenterAfter completing the ELSS program in May, 2016, Kendra Carpenter secured a principal position at Dillon Valley Elementary School in Dillon, Colorado where she has worked for the last fourteen years.  Dillon Valley is a public Title 1, dual language/International Baccalaureate school.  Kendra looks forward to applying her new knowledge of systems and equity leadership as she works with staff, parents, and students to raise the achievement of all students and infuse the curriculum with inquiry and problem based learning.

Laura Rupert was offered the position of principal at Frisco Elementary in Summit School District prior to completion of the ELSS Mountain Cohort program at University of Denver. She is motivated to be an instructional coach for her staff while leading them in the latest technological advances as the school goes one to one with technology. Rupert hopes to use her skills combined with the vast knowledge she gained at DU to inspire responsible risk taking and empowered learning in the school and community.

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