About QISVA

During almost forty years of experience leading Voice and Aspirations work, the Quaglia Institute's mission itself has never waned:
The Quaglia Institute is committed to making a difference globally—putting into practice the conditions that foster everyone's voice and aspirations in learning communities around the world. We believe that every student and staff member embodies endless potential, that we can always learn from one another, and that working together is the only effective way forward.

As with many stories, there were some challenging roads for the Aspirations work to travel before it reached national and international prominence. The study of aspirations was initially perceived as "soft," not important to academic outcomes, and difficult to determine how to operationalize in schools. With persistence and the belief that we can all learn from each other, the study of aspirations, under the direction of Dr. Quaglia, steadily advanced. Dr. Quaglia formed the Quaglia Institute for School Voice and Aspirations (QISVA), bringing the mission of voice and aspirations research to life.

Working in partnership with schools, QISVA provides voice and leadership training for students and staff tailored to the needs and goals of school districts. Utilizing the Aspirations Framework and School Voice Process, QISVA incorporates School Voice survey and focus group data to help schools create sustainable action plans. QISVA's mission extends into the larger educational community through publications, speaking engagements, state and national policy work, and online learning to support fostering the voice of students, teachers, school leaders, and parents.

QISVA has worked with schools across the United States, in Dubai, and the U.K. QISVA's global footprint expanded further in 2020 with the launch of the Australian Institute for Voice and Aspirations (AIVA). The Australian Institute collaborates with schools to create the conditions for positive culture and academic motivation to flourish. Such work is accomplished through the intentional scaffolding of professional learning through school networks and organizations such the Australian Council for Educational Leaders.

QISVA's publications include:

  • Student Voice: The Instrument of Change
  • Principal Voice: Listen, Learn, Lead
  • Teacher Voice: Amplifying Success
  • Aspire High: Imagining Tomorrow's School Today
  • Parent Voice: Being in Tune With Your Kids and Their School
  • Cay and Adlee Find Their Voice
  • The Power of Voice in Schools: Listening, Learning, and Leading Together

As the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of QISVA, the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations (QISA) is dedicated to studying, promoting, and putting into practice the conditions that foster student aspirations in schools and learning communities around the world. QISA is guided by the belief that students are the potential, not the problem, in today's educational system. QISA's work is based on nearly forty years of research in the field of student aspirations. This research shows that students who believe in themselves, are actively engaged in their learning, and feel a sense of purpose in school are more likely to develop high aspirations. Students with high aspirations are in a position to reach their fullest potential, both in school and beyond.

The Quaglia Institute's vision for the future is to continue to lead the way in educational research and best practices for schools based on our School Voice Model and Aspirations Framework. Our commitment includes developing resources and services to schools; workshops and webinars for parents, educators, and students; an aggressive research agenda, and world-class partnerships.

Thank you, to the entire Quaglia Institute team, whose diverse expertise in educational leadership and shared commitment to school voice and aspirations is inspirational. And thank you to the thousands of students and educators around the world who put the voice and aspirations work into action every day. All of the hopes and dreams for the schools we serve are well within our reach. Dream on!


Dr. Russ Quaglia