School Executive Leadership
and Superintendent Certification
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
The School Executive Leadership and Superintendent Certification programs emphasize the knowledge and skills appropriate to district-level administrative assignments in the P–12 setting such as superintendent, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent, directors, and other similar roles.
While both tracks prepare educational leaders, the superintendent program leads to Washington State certification, while the executive leadership program provides additional training for those who do not wish to seek superintendent certification.
The Superintendent program is based on the National Policy Board for Education Administration (ISSLC) standards and, as a result, those completing the program should be able to:
- Develop and implement a vision for learning that is supported by school and community stakeholders.
- Ensure there is a culture that sustains a coherent professional development and instructional program conducive to student learning.
- Effectively manage the organization and resources for a safe and effective learning environment.
- Collaborate with families and community members to mobilize resources in responding to diverse community interests and needs.
- Act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.
- Understand and appropriately respond to the political, social, and cultural dynamics of a school district.
When you possess the necessary prerequisite certificates and successfully complete this program, you will qualify for the Washington State Initial School Superintendent's Certificate.
SCHOOL EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP
The School Executive Leadership program is intended for those who wish to prepare to become educational leaders outside the superintendency.
In this program, you will complete the same core coursework but will replace the superintendent field experience with electives in a chosen specialization and field study in that topic.
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION FOR EXECUTIVE LEADERS
Iin the executive leadership program, you may focus on one of these specializations.
- Teaching and Learning (Curriculum & Instruction)
- Finance and Business
- Human Relations Administration
- Special Education
- Support Programs (Remediation, ELL, etc.)
The program consists of a sequence of a core of six 3-credit courses offered over a two-year period, three 1-credit professional growth planning seminars conducted over two years, and an internship consisting of at least 360 hours of field experience for the superintendent certificate or 6 credits of specialization coursework for the executive leadership specialization.
Core classes meet three times per quarter in a Friday-afternoon/Saturday-morning format. Readings and case studies are assigned in advance to maximize the amount of time for discussion, dialogue, and reflection.
This program has several key components:
- Team Building. You go through the six-course sequence and three seminars as a cohort. Monthly meetings with these same individuals also provide opportunities for networking and team building.
- Weekend Coursework. Classes meet three times per quarter, Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon. Monthly sessions include (1) review of in-district internship work; (2) discussion of case studies; and (3) best-practice presentations by current practitioners. You are involved in selecting topics and planning the activities.
- Field Experience. Field experience is an integral part of the coursework and takes place over the same two-year period as the coursework. The goal of the superintendency internship is to develop the hands-on experience and skill needed to increase student learning through district-level leadership. The major focus of the internship is a meaningful, district- or school-level project that will contribute to making a difference in improving the district/school as well as address the portfolio criteria for the internship. In addition, shadowing, teamwork, and reflection are part of the internship process.
Specialization for Executive Leaders. In the Executive Leadership track, you will focus your coursework around an area of interest. The superintendent field experience will be replaced by an elective sequence and a focused field study in a chosen area.
- Professional Certification Option. A unique feature this program is to allow current building principals/assistant principals and program administrators the opportunity to meet the requirement of the Administrator Professional Certificate through completion of the executive leadership program.
One of the core themes of the executive leadership program is to develop an understanding of self as a leader who is focused on student learning. In part, this is obtained through the reflective dialogue of the seminars, completion of the Pole 360 feedback instrument and the development of a professional growth plan. This theme mirrors the requirements of the professional certification process.
Therefore, when you successfully complete the Executive Leadership program, you may also meet the requirement for the appropriate Administrator Professional Certificate (the additional requirement of a portfolio presentation before a state level panel must also be met).
- Linked to the Doctor of Education Degree. Both Executive Leadership programs fulfill in part the specialization requirement for the Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D.) at Seattle Pacific University.
ITEMS REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION
To apply, submit the following items to The Graduate Center to be considered for admissions:
- A graduate application.
- A $50 processing fee. Make checks payable to "Seattle Pacific University."
- Official transcripts from all institutions where a degree was conferred or where post-master's graduate coursework was completed. (To maintain their official status, transcripts must remain sealed in their original envelopes.) Each candidate for the school superintendent's certification program must have completed a master's, doctorate, or other advanced degree.
- A copy of the applicant's most recently earned professional teacher, ESA, principal, or program administrator certificate. Proof of three years experience as a school administrator.
- Two letters of recommendation. These must represent a current assessment of the applicant's qualifications. It is preferred that one recommendation be from the applicant's supervisor. The other may be from an instructor, another supervisor, pastor, or a colleague. Recommendations must remain sealed in their original envelopes.
- For those applying for the Superintendent Certification program, an approved Site Agreement signed by the superintendent of the applicant's district, indicating that the district will work with him or her to make an internship experience possible. (If no internship site is available, the applicant should include a note to this effect with the application.)
Exceptions to the above requirements should be approved through the program chair, William Prenevost, at 206-281-2370 before application materials are submitted.
GENERAL ADMISSION INFORMATION
The two tracks — School Executive Leadership and Superintendent Certification — are set up on a cohort format, with coursework beginning Autumn Quarter.
- About 15 applicants are admitted each year. Candidates are admitted as application materials are completed and reviewed.
- You may begin the program in that fall of the academic year and complete the program in a cohort model.
APPLICATION AND ADMISSIONS QUESTIONS
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 111
Seattle, WA 98119-1922
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