Project Accelerated Preparation of Leaders for Underserved Schools

Project Accelerated Preparation of Leaders for Underserved Schools (APLUS) is building instructional capacity to impact diverse learners through a three-year, $13.7 million project funded by the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant Program.

The project incorporates multiple innovative approaches to developing school leaders, including opportunities for:

  • Earning an online master’s degree in Educational Administration,
  • Virtual mentoring and coaching,
  • Professional learning environments & communities, and
  • A Summer Leadership Institute.

Project APLUS, which involves research, investigates the efficacy of different types of principal/school leader residency programs.

Project Goals

  • Providing opportunities for 100 in-service school leader candidates to earn a master’s degree and advanced certification for leading the education of English learners (ELs) and low-income students;
  • Preparing 1,800 in-service school leaders for building instructional capacity at the campus level in the education of ELs and low-income students;
  • Training 100 practicing principals in building instructional capacity at the campus level in the education of ELs and low-income students;
  • Preparing 200 practicing principals and school leaders (campus leadership teams) for building instructional capacity at the campus level in the education of ELs and low-income students through a Summer Leadership Institute over two summers; and
  • Preparing 120 practicing principals and school leaders for building instructional capacity at the campus level in the education of ELs and low-income students through a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a School Enhancement/Turnaround Intensive Leadership Professional Development Intervention over three years.

The project is expected to serve 2,320 Texas principals and school leaders.


Do you have English learners in your classroom? Do you expect to have English learners in the future? According to demographic trends, the answer is yes. Many Texas teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and parents come to us asking for support. They are often seeking to make sure their English learners progress in TELPAS and STAAR, and that their day-to-day interactions with their students increase student well being. Are your English learners engaged? How do you make sure they are comprehending? Are you being culturally responsive and supportive enough?

Padres de estudiantes bilingües y de inglés como segundo idioma (ESL): ¡También tenemos clases para ustedes! Estos cursos están basados en investigaciones que lo ayudarán a comprender lo que su hijo(a) está aprendiendo en la escuela y le darán consejos sobre cómo ayudar en casa. Los cursos están disponibles en Español e Inglés y son completamente gratuitos para usted y sus familiares.



To meet this need for educators in our state, we are delivering virtual professional development called Massive Open Online Professional Individualized Learning. (MOOPILs)


We provide hundreds of courses at no cost to educators and are easy to access at any time.


Our content is Tier-I university research-based and clearly presented.


You can select a course from our selection of MOOPILs that meets your specific need.


Our 30-60 minute courses are designed with busy educators in mind. You can invest chunks of your time for maximum learning.


  • Earn hundreds of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits
  • Make your teaching comprehensible and impactful
  • Make your learning environment stress-free and differentiated
  • Incorporate culturally responsive pedagogical practices
  • Assess students, yourself, and your team in an ongoing and reflective way
Not only did I learn about specific strategies to use with parents and children, I learned background information and acquired a context for the strategies based on current research in the field. I find this important in that it makes the information and practice meaningful for how and why I work with the students. The format of the course was helpful because the modules were presented in short segments with follow up resources.
Marilyn Cook
Port Aransas ISD
My experience with the Project MOOPIL was invaluable! I have had several occasions this year where I have pulled strategies or modifications that we discussed. While I felt like I had a handle on these techniques and strategies, having them reinforced and/or brought back to memory has been a great help. It also has given me the confidence to grow my leadership duties on my campus.
Tiffany Strong
Madisonville CISD
My journey has been interesting and quite helpful in acquiring the knowledge and skills that have helped me obtain a better understanding of second language acquisition, cultural competency, and leadership where my English learners are concerned. I truly appreciate Project MOOPIL.
Tina Steiner
Round Rock ISD


Matthew J. Etchells, Ph.D.

Matthew J. Etchells, Ph.D.

APLUS Lead Coordinator