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The Bridge Project

July 2023 through July 2025

A statewide initiative designed to increase principal workforce diversity in Illinois

In Illinois, there are four principal-endorsed educators for each principal opening, yet many talented educators of color and women still do not become principals.

WestEd, in collaboration with the Illinois Regional Office of Education (ROE) Leadership Hubs, is launching the Bridge Project, a critical Illinois investment in diversifying the state’s principal workforce in urban, rural, and suburban settings that will support the career growth of aspiring principals of color and aspiring female principals.

The Bridge Project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education under the federal Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program.

To find out more, check out our video or email The Bridge Project (

Why join?

Participants in this two-year program will

  • gain robust mentorship and career development opportunities alongside peers, including monthly leadership coaching from experienced administrators in Illinois;
  • access a statewide learning network focused on content development;
  • benefit from new principal mentoring after transitioning into principal positions; and
  • receive a $5,000 stipend for full participation.
Who can participate?

Participants should be in their role for at least a year and meet the following criteria:

  • have an interest in becoming a principal in Illinois
  • identify as a person of color and/or a woman
  • hold an administrative position (assistant principal, dean, instructional coach, etc.)
  • have a principal endorsement
When does the program take place?

The program will run from July 2023 through July 2025.

How to join

If you are interested in learning more about the Bridge Project, complete the interest form by March 22.

In collaboration with