What is ELI?


The NAEOP Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) is a yearlong leadership development program that is designed to inspire and cultivate strong leadership within NAEOP and its participating State Associations. The program is designed to combine professional development, networking opportunities, and hands-on experiences to ensure successful continuation of NAEOP. Every year, two* ELI participants will be selected from participating NAEOP states.

*In the event that a member state(s) has fewer than two qualified applicants, additional participants may be selected from the other member states.   


Criteria to Apply

The ELI application process is competitive, so please keep in mind all of the following in preparing your application:

  • Membership – candidate must be a current NAEOP project member. If selected, participants must maintain tenure of paid membership in NAEOP.
  • Leadership Potential – candidate must have worked for a TRIO program for at least two years OR previous relevant experience (professional roles, volunteer experience, etc.); and show present success or future potential for success in leadership positions.
  • Commitment – candidate must agree to attend and fully engage in all ELI training sessions, attend and volunteer in some capacity at the NAEOP regional conference, and be committed to the possibility of furthering their leadership commitment by serving on various committees or taking on leadership positions with the state and/or region.
  • Supervisor Support – candidate must obtain a letter of support from their supervisor.
  • Financial – the candidate is responsible for NAEOP conference registration fee, lodging, travel and per diem to attend the full day of training.


Expected Outcomes

ELI participants who successfully complete the program will:

  • Possess a broader understanding of how the history of TRIO programs, COE, NAEOP, and member State Associations influence NAEOP structure, objectives, organization and procedures.
  • Through a strengths based approach, develop a fundamental understanding of one’s own leadership style and how to effectively use it to work with others.
  • Contribute to the success of their state association and/or regional association by assuming leadership responsibilities such as holding offices, chairing committees, and serving as mentors for new NAEOP professionals.
  • Gain practical skills related to participating in and leading effective teams.


ELI Program Components:

The yearlong program will use Clifton Strengths & TEACH Teamwork as a way to explore:

  • Team building
  • Self Discovery
  • Mentoring
  • Establishment of common language around leadership
  • Networking with peers, NAEOP leaders, & community leaders


ELI Participant Commitments

Applicants who are selected for the current ELI cohort commit to:

  • Attend and fully engage in the ELI training (prior to NAEOP Conference)
  • Attend the NAEOP Conference (typically in October)
  • Volunteer in various capacities at the NAEOP Conference; opportunities may include collecting meal tickets, assisting with the registration table, and assisting with the silent and live auctions
  • Actively participate in monthly conference calls and trainings with the ELI cohort and NAEOP leaders
  • Attend a two-day workshop at Gonzaga University (typically held in the Spring)
  • Engage in and complete projects and/or tasks as assigned
  • Actively seek leadership roles by serving on various committees or taking on a leadership position at the state and/or regional level after completion of ELI experience
  • Common Questions About ELI
  • What types and level of commitments are required for participation?

    Prior to the annual regional NAEOP conference, there will be a full one and one half days of training. This will be reinforced with opportunities to participate in monthly ELI Board conference call meetings, engaging in assigned projects and learning components with the ELI cohort, and contact with the NAEOP leaders. It is also expected that participants will continue to seek leadership opportunities, in either the state or regional TRIO organizations. This can include, but is not limited to things such as a TRIO State Association Student Leadership Conference, NAEOP Conference Planning Committee, NAEOP Peer Review Committee, etc.

  • What is the financial cost for participation in ELI?

    The following are financial costs associated with participation in ELI:

    • Travel and per diem to attend the NAEOP Conference including the full-day pre-conference training.
    • Transportation only to a two-day workshop held at Gonzaga University (typically in the Spring). Gonzaga University provides meals and lodging.

    Note: If the cost of transportation to Gonzaga University is a hardship for the institution, please contact the ELI chair. Funding may be available through NAEOP on a case-by-case basis.

  • What if I change jobs?

    Participation in ELI is incumbent upon active employment in a TRIO, or TRIO-like program in the NAEOP region and paid program membership to the NAEOP Association. Participation will be terminated should these criteria not be fully met..

  • What is the application process?

    Once the applications become available online, applicants are required to complete the application and obtain a letter of support from their supervisor. ELI participants will be selected prior to the early bird registration deadline for the conference (end of August). ELI participants are only selected from current NAEOP Project members. If you have questions about NAEOP Project membership, please email treasurer@naeoptrio.org.

  • I have more questions about ELI, who should I contact?

    If you have questions regarding the ELI program, you can contact the ELI Chair at elichair@naeoptrio.org.

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00
Skip to content