Superintendent Program

Educational Leadership Studies

Superintendent Certification Program

Application Deadline: Application Deadline: January 7, 2015.

Click here to download our 1-page flyer describing the superintendent program.

The UK Superintendent Certification Program is unique. Outstanding faculty and mentors integrate knowledge and practice, align learning with superintendents’ annual work cycle and guide work- embedded learning. “Flipped” classrooms use high-quality online learning modules that offer students flexibility in preparing for problem-solving sessions with state and nationally prominent faculty. This state-wide, 12 credit-hour, Executive Leadership Program begins Spring 2015 and ends December 2015. Sessions are convened on selected Saturdays and at state leadership conferences. This research-based, standards-aligned (ISLLC), and performance-assessed program is designed to prepare the next generation of superintendents to lead instructionally effective districts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Program Schedule

  • Spring - EDL 676: The School Superintendency (3)
  • Summer I - EDL 677: School System Administration (3)
  • Summer II - EDL 678: Strategic Management in Education (3)
  • Fall - EDL 682: Leading District Change and Innovation (3)

Note: Superintendent courses may be used as a specialized area of study for the Educational Leadership (EdD) and Interdisciplinary PhD Degrees.

Program Faculty
UK Program faculty are outstanding! They include nationally recognized authors, policymakers and superintendents who are dedicated to preparing the next generation of district leaders. Full faculty profiles may be seen here.

  • Dr. Lars Björk
  • Dr. Tom Shelton
  • Dr. Lu Young
  • Stu Silberman
  • Linda France
  • Matt Thompson
  • Gene Wilhoit
  • Dr. Theodore Kowalski
  • Dr. Carmen Coleman

Admission Requirements:

  1. A current professional educator certificate;
  2. A written statement of and evidence of leadership experiences at the school building or district level (included in your “Portfolio”, Part II);
  3. At least two (2) years of full-time experience in a position of school principal, supervisor of instruction, guidance counselor, director of pupil personnel, director of special education, school business administrator, local district coordinator of vocational education, or a coordinator, administrator, or supervisor of district-wide services. Other administrative experience may be substituted for this requirement with the approval of the Education Professional Standards Board EPSB) (Resume);
  4. Three (3) years of teaching experience (Resume);
  5. Completed a Master’s Degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (Unofficial Transcript).
  6. Three letters of recommendation including one from a supervisor/education agency representative attesting to the applicant’s suitability for serving as a school leader. Online applications may be expedited by submitting letters directly to the Department of Educational Leadership Studies.

Click here to apply.

Application Process

Application to the Superintendent Certification Program requires three steps. Steps 1 and 2 are done together using the one Apply Yourself Application (online). Step 3 focuses on submitting a Superintendent Certification Program Portfolio and an interview. Once admitted to UK and EDL, students may enroll in UK courses during the 2015 Spring Semester. Letters of acceptance into the Superintendent Certification Program will be sent after EPSB Program approval.

Step 1: Create an Account in the Online Application System

  1. First, create an account with the UK Graduate School including a user name and password. Click here to create an account. If you are a former UK student and don’t know your LinkBlue ID number please call or email Matthew Reed for assistance at 859-257-8921 or matthew.reed@uky.edu
  2. Once you have a username and password you can fill out one online application to the UK Graduate School and the Department of Educational Leadership Studies.
  3. You do not have to complete the application at one time. Your user name and password will allow you to log in as many times as you wish to complete your unfinished application. NOTE: The application fee must be paid by credit card at the time of Final submission. 

Step 2: Designate Your EDL “Plan of Study”

  1. In the application site you will need to select your "plan of study."
  2. Please view this important tip (“screenshot’) on how to select the correct program. Continue your online application using these instructions:
    1. For “Admission Category” select “Teacher Education Certification-other”
    2. For Program” select “Educational Leadership”
    3. For “Intended Start Date “select “Spring 2015” (Starting January 2015)
    4. For “Program Specific Information” Select “Superintendent”
  3. College Information
    1. Enter the names of all colleges attended;
    2. GRE/GMAT Scores (Leave Blank)-They are not required);
    3. Undergraduate and Graduate GPA’s are required. This information may be found on your transcripts. Former UK students may also obtain them using their UK LinkBlue account;
    4. Unofficial transcripts from all universities attended showing award of an undergraduate, master’s degrees and other coursework. Former UK students can obtain a free, unofficial copy of their transcript from the UK LinkBlue website to upload into their application. Other universities may provide a similar online service. If you have difficulty obtaining a copy of your transcripts please contact Matthew Reed at (859-257-8921) matthew.reed@uky.edu .
    5. Three letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a supervisor/education agency representative attesting to the applicant’s suitability for serving as a school district leader. Please enter information and email addresses for each of these individuals. The UK Graduate School will send them a request for recommendation and ask that the completed forms be returned to the Graduate School. If a technical problem arises please contact Matthew Reed at matthew.reed@uky.edu to arrange to have the completed recommendation forms sent directly to EDL;
  4. Supplemental Information
    1. Resume (Leave Blank);
    2. Personal Statement (Leave Bank)
    3. Writing Sample (Leave Blank)
    4. Assistantship application (Leave Blank)
    5. Portfolio – Upload your pdf portfolio (Click here to download a document describing the required format [MS Word])
    6. Additional Information (Leave Blank)

Step 3: Superintendent Certification Program Portfolio

Applicants are required to submit a Superintendent Certification Program Admissions Portfolio (pdf). It should be uploaded into their UK/EDL application (Supplemental Information-Portfolio). The required format for the Portfolio will ensure that it is well organized and brief yet substantive (Click here to download a document describing the required format [MS Word]).

Part I: Professional Information

  1. Professional Resume (limited to 2 pages) that provides your name and contact information as well as postsecondary education (all degrees, years awarded, institution names, emphasis area), work experiences, education certifications and professional memberships;
  2. A copy of your current professional educator certificate;
  3. A written statement of and evidence of leadership experiences at the school building or district level (This is Part II of your “Portfolio”);
  4. A letter from your supervisor/agency representative attesting to your suitability for school district leadership. This letter will be included in your Apply Yourself Application (Online) and will be sent to EDL;
  5. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) from a district Superintendent (Click here to download the MOA in MS Word);

Part II: Leadership Experiences

This section of your Portfolio focuses on describing your knowledge and leadership experiences in the following five areas:

  1. Ability to improve student achievement. Provide a brief narrative that includes brief descriptions that exemplify your work. Include student outcomes if available;
  2. Knowledge of schools laws relating to finance, school operations and personnel matters implementation of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Use each of these areas as subheadings then, list graduate courses completed and provide a brief narrative that highlights your school and district work;
  3. Commitment to ongoing professional growth (Provide a brief narrative that outlines areas in which you presently excel professionally, areas in which you are planning to gain additional knowledge and skills as well as areas that you envision may enhance your capacity to serve as a district leader). You may include a professional growth plan developed for your current position as evidence);
  4. Effective communication skills (written communication and information dissemination). Provide a brief narrative of strategies (interpersonal, electronic, social media et al.) that you have used to communicate with school, district and community stakeholders and descriptions of your work);
  5. Ability to build relationships, foster teamwork and, develop networks. Provide a brief narrative that describes your views on professional relationships, teamwork and networking as well as providing descriptions that exemplify your work.

Alternative Certification

Those applying to the Alternative Superintendent Certification Program shall provide evidence of comparable skills as listed above and those which include:

  1. Evidence of leadership experience which may have occurred in a setting other than a school district and,
  2. Evidence of engagement with a school or district.

Part III: Interview

Applicants will be interviewed by a panel of superintendents and EDL faculty as part of the Superintendent Certification Program admissions process. Interviews will be scheduled after candidates submit their Apply Yourself Application and will focus on your professional background and experiences described in your Portfolio. After you receive an invitation, we will be pleased to discuss the interview process with you.

Enrolling in Courses-Spring 2015

Those admitted to UK/EDL may enroll in Superintendent Certification classes Spring 2015. If you need assistance registering for classes please contact Matthew Reed: (859) 257-8921 or matthew.reed@uky.edu.

For More Information

Questions about the Superintendent Certification Program may be directed to Dr. Lars Björk, Superintendent Program Chair, lbjor1@uky.edu, 859-257-2450.

Problems or questions about the UK/EDL admissions process may be directed to: Duke Gatsos, Director of Student Support and Outreach, duke.gatsos@uky.edu

EDL Contact Information