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Superintendency Graduate Certificate

The Education Leadership program, housed in the Department of Education Policy Studies, has approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for the courses and course sequence that lead to the PDE Superintendent PK-12 Letter of Eligibility (LoE). 

The Superintendency graduate certificate consists of the required credits for the LoE and  provides an additional credential for students who complete these credit requirements. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has Superintendent PK-12 Letter Requirements that need to be fulfilled in order for it to be awarded.

Admissions Information

The Superintendency Graduate Certificate program is for those interested in the Pennsylvania PK-12 Letter of Eligibility. The program is offered only at the University Park campus.

The PK-12 Letter of Eligibility program consists of 21 credits, including an internship. A specific set of courses explicitly addresses the alignment of the PA Inspired Leadership (PIL) standards within and across courses leading to the completion of a 360 hour field experience required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

The courses preparing student for the PK-12 Letter of Eligibility (LoE) for the Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent/Intermediate Unit Director have also been evaluated by Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and The National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards. These preparation standards were formerly known as the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards.

  • Politics of Local School Districts (EDLDR 533)

  • District Improvement and Systemic Change (EDLDR 549)

  • Personnel Management and Contract Administration (EDLDR 565)

  • Public School Finance (EDLDR 573)

  • Schools as Organizations (EDLDR 578)

  • Systemwide Leadership for Teaching and Learning (EDLDR 597)

  • Superintendency Internship (EDLDR 595)

The culmination of the Superintendency Certificate program is an internship (EDLDR 595).The internship requires candidates to apply, refine, and assess their knowledge, skills and competencies related to the Superintendency through a 360-hour field experience spanning a full calendar year in a designated school district.

Eligibility to work as a superintendent in Pennsylvania is obtained directly through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Our Superintendency Graduate Certificate program is one such pathway towards the Letter of Eligibility. It is most appropriate for those who already hold a Doctor of Education degree and are seeking an expedited pathway to superintendent eligibility.

Should you wish to extend your study beyond the Superintendency Certificate, our Doctor of Education degree provides for advanced level leadership preparation. Apply for the D.Ed. degree straight away, or once accepted to the Superintendency Certificate program, ask your advisor for more information about additional courses for the doctoral degree.

Penn State is an Act 45-approved provider for Pennsylvania school administrators, so the courses for the Graduate Certificate in Superintendency may count toward professional development hours.

Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.