Frequently Asked Questions about IELOL


How can I apply for the IELOL program?

Individuals must complete the IELOL application form. Applicants will receive an automated email confirmation upon receipt of their application.

What are the application and registration deadlines for the program?

Applications for the 2024 program are accepted on a rolling admissions cycle beginning in November 2023, with early and regular acceptance deadlines. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. Applicants are notified of their acceptance within 2-4 weeks of submitting their application. There may be a delay in notifications of acceptance if you submit your application between December 20, 2023, and January 2, 2024. The review of 2024 applications begins in mid-November 2023.

Application Deadlines for 2024 Program are as follows: 

  • Early bird rate:  Friday, January 26, 2024
  • To be considered for scholarship: Friday, April 19, 2024
  • Regular rate and final date to apply: Friday, April 26, 2024

All accepted participants must submit the program fee for registration no later than Monday, May 20, 2024.

What are the policies around confirmations, cancellations, transfers, and refunds for the program?

Confirmations & Cancellations: OLC will confirm your registration and promptly notify you regarding any changes. OLC strives to deliver all offerings as scheduled. However, we reserve the right to reschedule or cancel a program due to unforeseen extenuating circumstances. If an unforeseen event forces OLC to cancel or postpone the program, OLC will give as much advanced notice as possible. In the event of an OLC cancellation, you will receive a full refund of your registration fee. However, OLC cannot be held responsible for any related costs, including cancellation fees assessed by airlines or travel agencies.

Withdrawals: Should you need to withdraw from this program for any reason, a written request can be sent to or by fax to 888.898.6209. If your request to withdraw is received by June 7, 2024, any paid fees will be refunded, less a $50 administrative fee.

Transfer Requests: Once registration confirmation is communicated and up to the end of the Online Immersion phase, you may request one time to transfer to the next cohort with no administration fee. Should you need to transfer to the next cohort after the Online Immersion phase ends, transfer requests will be charged an administrative fee of $350 per participant. This request cannot be made more than once.

Note: Transferring to a later cohort entails re-submitting ALL work and participating in ALL phases of the program. Once registered in the later cohort, no refunds will be given.

Who is the ideal candidate for participation in IELOL?

There is no single profile that is the best fit for the program. Many of our applicants may already have some supervisory experience and are looking to advance their career and/or online learning within their institution. In some cases, senior-level leaders participate in order to better understand the context of online learning and their desire to establish a network in the field. In many other cases, participants are identified and supported by senior leadership who recognize the need for successful leadership planning within their institutions. Job titles have included, but are not limited to, instructional designer, technology evangelist, associate provost, provost, dean, program manager, administrator, faculty developer, and faculty.

What are the differences between the IELOL USA and IELOL Global programs? Can I participate in both?

The IELOL USA and IELOL Global programs are complementary leadership intensive certificate programs. The IELOL USA program has a focus on individual and institutional leadership, whereas the IELOL Global program focuses on collaborative leadership and change work with a global lens. We encourage you to select to participate in one or both programs in your online, digital, and blended learning leadership journey.

How many applicants are accepted per cohort?

We have discovered that 60 is the optimum number of enrollments to sustain the type of interactions we seek without overwhelming the participants.

What is the acceptance rate of IELOL?

The acceptance rate is completely dependent upon the number of applications in a given year. We seek to fill the available slots with the most qualified individuals who will both gain from and contribute to the quality of the program.

What if I do not yet have the funding committed from my institution, can I still apply?

Yes! Please feel free to apply and indicate that the funding is being sought. You can let us know later when the funding is assured.

Does it matter when I apply, sooner or towards the end of the application period?

All applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications received after the application period have significantly less probability of acceptance.

Are there scholarships available for IELOL?

Yes, there is one scholarship per year to be divided among participants outside the United States in the form of a reduction in the IELOL tuition. Please visit IELOL Scholarship for additional information. This is a need-based award and does require additional information beyond the standard program application. Scholarship funds will be made available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Note that all scholarship applications must be received on or before April 19, 2024. No scholarship requests will be accepted after this date.


To ensure you are fully able to participate in the IELOL program, including all phases of the program, please indicate your accommodation needs during the registration process. We will work with you individually, our partner institution, and the hotel to make sure your specific accommodation needs are addressed.

If you have questions and/or would like to discuss your accessibility needs or concerns, please contact us at at least two weeks in advance of the IELOL program start, so we can ensure that your requests are addressed.

Program Fees

The cost for individuals is:

  • $3,025 for early bird pricing (application submitted on or before January 26, 2024)
  • $3,325 after January 26, 2024 (all applications close on April 26, 2026)

All accepted participants must submit the program fee for registration (early bird and regular admission) in full no later than Monday, May 20, 2024.

Fees include:

  • All learning activities and program materials are included as part of the IELOL program (including the Residency phase)
  • Access to the online instructional components, facilitated by IELOL faculty and alumni

Partial scholarship options (in the form of a reduction of the IELOL tuition) are available by application. Please visit the IELOL Scholarship page on this site for more information. Note that all scholarship applications must be received on or before April 19, 2024. No scholarship requests will be accepted after this date.

Participation & Workload

If I am not interested in certain parts of the program, can I elect to step out or select the components that most interest me?

No, IELOL is constructed as a cohort-based program, and your successful completion is dependent on your completion of ALL required phases of the program (the Online Immersion, Residency, and Implementation phases). This means that the experience will be richest for both you and the other participants when everybody contributes and participates in all aspects of the program. This is not a conference-style program, but an institute of engaged learners. As a leadership institute, it is an active program and requires your full engagement and participation in ALL phases of the program. Please note that in-person attendance during the onsite Residency week in Charlotte, North Carolina, is required for successful completion of the program. 

How do I prepare to make the most of the IELOL program?

There are several things you can do to prepare for your participation in IELOL. Learning as much as you can about the governance, organizational structure, culture, and traditions of your own institution will be very beneficial. Understanding the pressure points, challenges, issues, and concerns about advancing online learning within the context of your institution will help guide your focus on those issues within the program. These issues may also become part of your subsequent IELOL Individual Project and help to contribute to addressing a specific institutional challenge.

Keep in mind that IELOL provides an opportunity to extend your network both within your institution and within the program. Before attending the Residency component of the program, you should consider sending the individual who nominated you a note regarding your participation in the program and indicates that you intend to provide a follow-up report on your experience.

How confidential is the information shared in IELOL?

IELOL operates on the “Chatham House Rule,” which states that while you may share your experience generally about the program – and we hope you do! – we do require that anything of a personal nature such as names and attributions is NOT made public outside of the group without the express permission of the person quoted. We adopt these rules to allow for the free flow of ideas and information during the program without fear of consequence. These rules not only encourage sharing, they also build trust and respect among the group.

Am I required to attend the IELOL track as part of the Leadership Network Symposium in conjunction with the OLC Accelerate Conference?

The IELOL track that will be an integrated component of the Leadership Network Symposium at the OLC Accelerate conference is optional. If your circumstances allow, we encourage you to attend this experience where you will have opportunities to connect with your cohort members, IELOL alumni, and other influential leaders in the field. 

What technology do I need for the Residency experience?

A portable device is highly recommended for use during the Residency component of the program. Laptops, tablets, etc.* are all welcomed and can be connected to the conference center’s complimentary wifi.

*Please be sure that your device is enabled to join external networks.

What is the dress code for the Residency component of IELOL?

The dress code for the program is business casual*, there is no need for formal wear, suit jackets and/or ties (unless you prefer that attire). Keep in mind that T-shirts, shorts, and/or anything that can be considered “beach-wear” would be considered too casual. Please note that as part of our final evening event we will be meeting with guests from a senior leadership committee. For this occasion, you may wish to have a nicer set of clothes, but it is not required.

*Layers are advised if you tend to be chilled in conference room settings.

Will we have free time during the Residency component of IELOL?

The 4-day IELOL Residency component is time- and energy-intensive. From the start of the program until the very end we will run on a tight schedule packed with class time, small group projects, and social activities.

This program sounds like hard work requiring lots of energy and effort, any chance we will have fun?

IELOL is as much work (and fun) as you’d like to make it, of course, the more you put in the more you will take away. We do try to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Puns, bad jokes, and a little friendly bantering make the experience rich and enjoyable! You are joining a wonderful community of professionals that can become lifelong colleagues and friends!

Program Design

Is IELOL taught like a college credit class (lectures, quizzes, exams)?

IELOL has some elements of a typical blended “course” without the quizzes and exams. For example, there are modules with content in the OLC Institute Learning Management System, active discussion boards, and even assignments related to individual personal growth and leadership in higher education. The estimated time for participation is about 6-8 hours per week during the Online Immersion, and past successful participants have reported that the more they participated in each activity the more they gained. 

A digital badge* is awarded for the full completion of the entire program (i.e., active participation and full attendance during the Online Immersion, Residency, and Implementation phases. Three phases must be successfully attended and completed to earn the badge. The fourth phase, attendance at the Leadership Network Symposium, held in conjunction with the OLC Accelerate conference, is optional but encouraged).

*Please note that digital badges cannot be retroactively issued for IELOL years prior to the 2019 program.

What kind of assignments can I expect as part of the IELOL program?

Part of the intent of IELOL is to enable your leadership within your home institution. Assignments are directed toward the goals of becoming visible as a leader and being aware of the institutional challenges and issues your institution currently faces. During module one of the IELOL Online Immersion phase, you will be asked to schedule an appointment with a senior leader at your institution to discuss your participation in the IELOL program. Past participants have indicated this step helped them gain visibility within their institution and better understand the issues facing their institutions.

You will be encouraged to talk to your president or vice president about the context of online learning within your institution. We advise you to schedule that meeting as soon as possible. After the meeting, you will also be asked to write a short statement about the context for online learning at your institution that will be shared online with other participants. There are multiple discussion forum assignments as well, which are a part of the modules in the IELOL Online Immersion phase.

Does our cohort ever collectively meet at the same time for the online components of IELOL?

Yes, the Residency phase is held in person at the host institution (and online for those who elect to participate in that modality), and the two online components of IELOL are designed as asynchronous experiences. Team-related projects (following the Residency portion of the program) have used synchronous meetings.

Is there group work in IELOL?

Throughout the program, you will work on a project you want to move forward with at your institution. As part of this activity, you will be placed into project teams where you can share and get feedback from your team members and a faculty mentor/guide on your project and give advice/feedback to the other team members.

What is the IELOL Capstone Project all about?

The IELOL Capstone Project allows you to apply your knowledge to an institutional issue or challenge that you are facing. It is a wonderful opportunity to gain visibility within your institution and to address the real concerns or challenges facing leadership as you advance online learning. Keep in mind you will have access to world-class consultants in both your IELOL faculty and fellow participants. This network provides incredible access to individuals who will help you advance your initiative.

Program Outcomes

Do I receive an IELOL certificate?

Yes, all eligible participants receive an IELOL digital completion badge (with a PDF Certificate of Completion accompanying the badge). The badge will be made available at the conclusion and successful completion of the program (PLEASE NOTE: requirements include full participation AND attendance during the Online Immersion activities, attendance at the Residency, and completion of the IELOL Project during the Implementation phase).

*Please note that digital badges cannot be retroactively issued for IELOL years prior to the 2019 program.

Will I learn about the best practices for developing an online program?

The purpose of IELOL is not a technical training program designed to share the best practices for building an online educational program, there are other programs that address those needs. IELOL is designed as a professional development program to enhance your leadership skills within the context of online learning. That said, the faculty and colleagues you are gathered with as part of the program have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. There will certainly be time and opportunity for participants to discuss new ideas, best practices, etc. throughout the program.

Is IELOL focused on a specific discipline, a field of study, and/or type of institution?

The program draws from a wide and diverse field of institutional types including for-profits, non-profits, community colleges, military educational services, religious, private, and large public institutions. One of the major benefits of this diversity is the range of perspectives represented by the participants.