Superintendent Program

Educational Leadership Studies

Superintendent Certification Program

Application Deadline: Application Deadline: January 7, 2015.

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. Teaching certificate-Meets requirements for certification (16 KAR 3:010);
  3. A written statement of and evidence of leadership experiences at the school building or district level (included in your “Portfolio”);
  4. 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);
  5. Three (3) years of teaching experience;
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Official transcripts from all previous institutions of higher education must be submitted.
  9. GRE Scores are not required for admission to the Superintendent Certification Program.

The Department of Educational Leadership Studies Admissions Committee will review applications and approve admissions (16 KAR 3:010).

Click here to apply.

Application to the Superintendent Certification Program requires three steps. Steps 1 and 2 are done together using one online application. Once accepted into the UK Graduate School and then the Department of Educational Leadership Studies (EDL), students may enroll in required courses during the 2015 Spring Semester. Step 3, admission to the Superintendent Certification Program, requires submission of a Portfolio (see below). Letters of acceptance will be sent to candidates after EPSB Program approval. See UK Graduate School, EDL, Superintendent Certification Program and Portfolio requirements below.

Step 1: Apply to the UK Graduate School-Online:

  1. First, create an account with the UK Graduate School including a user name and password. Click here to create an account.
  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.
  4. Remember, the application fee must be paid by credit card at the time of Final submission. Remember, you can only submit your application one time. Currently the fee for domestic applicants is $65 and $75 for international applicants (non US citizens).

Step 2: Continue Applying Online by designating your EDL “Plan of Study”

  1. Click HERE to log in to apply to the Superintendent Certification Program at UK- 
  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. Continue your online application using the instructions below to provide “Supplemental Information” (pdf format):
  4. 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;
  5. Official Transcripts. Upload a pdf copy of your UK and other university transcripts or a blank page. Then submit all official copies directly to EDL after you submit your Application;
  6. GRE Scores are not required (leave this blank);
  7. Three letters of recommendation including one from a supervisor/education agency representative attesting to the applicant’s suitability for serving as a school leader. Please enter email addresses of these individuals. The UK Graduate School will send a recommendation request and ask that the completed forms be returned to them. If a technical problem arises contact Matthew Reed at matthew.reed@uky.edu to arrange to have completed recommendation forms sent directly to EDL;
  8. Completed UK/EDL applications will be sent electronically from the UK Graduate School to EDL and will be reviewed by a Faculty Admissions Committee. Once you are admitted to the UK/EDL you may enroll in classes. Contact Matthew Reed for assistance at 859-257-8921 or matthew.reed@uky.edu

Step 3: Submit Admissions Portfolio - Superintendent Certification Program

After completing your UK/EDL application, candidates are required to submit an Admissions Portfolio (pdf) directly to the Department of Educational Leadership Studies via Matthew Reed at matthew.reed@uky.edu. The professional Portfolio should be concise yet substantive. Please use the following format for presenting evidence of the following:

  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;
  6. Candidates in the Alternative 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.

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