Instructor explaining different roles in school administration.

Graduate Certificate in Education Administration: Superintendent

The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Superintendent Graduate Certificate program is designed for post-master’s students seeking the Minnesota K–12 Superintendent license. 

Potential students must possess a master's degree in an education-related field, have completed principal or director of special education licensure (in most cases), and have experience in educational leadership.

Program Curriculum

Courses are intended to provide an understanding of the 13 core competencies and those specific to the superintendency. These include core courses required for all administrative licensure preparation and those required for superintendent licensure: a 320 hour field experience internship (with a minimum of 40 hours at a second district or organization), and EDS 760: The Superintendency, a course covering the specific competencies of the superintendency.

Class Time and Coursework

The course meets four times for full days over the course of the semester of enrollment. During the academic year those sessions are held on Saturdays; during the summer months they are held on weekdays. Through case studies, readings, and discussion, students study the rewards and challenges of the superintendency and interact with panels of current superintendents to gain a wide perspective of the skills necessary to lead today’s districts.

Requirements

Students who have already earned administrative licensure will complete the course and the internship (for a total of 6 credits) required for superintendent licensure, document their competency in an electronic portfolio, and present their efolio at an exit assessment meeting. Students who have not completed an administrative licensure program prior to starting superintendent licensure are required to complete the core competency courses (27 credits) and include the competencies addressed in the core courses in their electronic portfolio and their exit assessment meeting.

Administrative Licensure Preparation Pathway

The program consists of 33 credits for initial K–12 Principal or Director of Special Education preparation (or 39 credits for both). You may then choose to stop out and obtain a graduate certificate, complete 6 credits towards superintendency preparation, or complete the Ed.S. degree.

Program Outcomes

The following outcomes are state-identified competencies for an educational administration degree from Saint Mary's.

Leadership—Lead educational institutions and departments through collaborative, visionary planning and decision making.

Organizational Management—Manage and evaluate organizational operations including human, monetary, and physical resources for institutional improvement.

Diversity Leadership—Promote, create, and monitor appreciation and cultivation of diversity.

Policy and Law—Interpret, develop, and implement local, state, and federal policy and law.

Political Influence and Governance—Nurture a cooperative alliance of key stakeholders to influence the politics and governance of educational institutions.

Communication—Utilize communication skills essential to inform and facilitate effective organizational communication.

Community Relations—Establish and maintain positive and effective community relations relative to educational institutions.

Curriculum Planning and Development for the Success of All Learners—Facilitate the planning and development of curriculum, assessment, and instruction.

Instructional Management for the Success of All Learners—Design, implement, and support instruction, assessment strategies, and behavior management.

Use Research Effectively—Integrate current research appropriate for all learners.

Human Resource Management—Interpret, apply, and manage policies and procedures, which foster positive and productive performance from faculty and staff.

Values and Ethics of Leadership—Practice ethical leadership, ensuring the best interest of all learners.

Judgment and Problem Analysis—Implement and facilitate problem-solving strategies integrating critical thinking, creativity, logic, and collaboration.

Safety and Security—Create safety and security plans to sustain an emotionally and physically safe educational environment for all.

SUPERINTENDENT-SPECIFIC OUTCOMES

Policy and Law—Interpret and explain local, state, and federal public policy and law.

Political Influence and Governance—Identify and explain the influencing politics and governance of educational institutions.

Communication—Promote effective relations with school boards, districts, and community members.

Organizational Management—Identify factors affecting school finances.

Judgment and Problem Analysis—Carry out the mission and vision with attention to competing interests.

Gainful Employment Information

Effective July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education requires institutions with nondegree programs defined as “Gainful Employment programs” to disclose certain information about these programs. Read the report.

From Start to Finish

  • Those holding administrative licensure can prepare to add Superintendency in one to two semesters.
  • The Superintendency seminar is offered regularly at the Twin Cities Campus. Additional cohorts are offered at various locations across Minnesota. Contact us to talk through when cohorts will begin in your area.

Apply Now

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated by a university accepted evaluation source, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    • description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55404

Locations

This program is offered at our Twin Cities location and regional cohorts.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Core Educational Administration Credits 23 cr.
Superintendent Courses   6 cr.
Certificate Completion   0 cr.
TOTAL 29 cr.

 


Core Educational Administration Credits: 23 cr.

EDS701 Orientation and Assessment (0 cr.)

This mandatory session acquaints students beginning their academic work with the policies, procedures, and expectations of the program. Frequently asked questions are addressed. The sequence of core classes, field experience expectations and procedures, portfolio creation, action research project overview, and exit examination meeting are discussed. A writing assessment is administered.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Explain the expectations of the K-12 Administrative Licensure in Minnesota and the Education Specialist Degree in Education Administration at Saint Mary's University.
  2. Demonstrate written communication skills.

EDS706 Student Assessment and Program Evaluation (2 cr.)

This course explores the components of effective program evaluation models and examines assessment processes of and for student learning. The skills administrators need to access, interpret, and effectively communicate assessment data are practiced. Strategies to develop an inclusive environment and culturally responsive teaching practices are examined with respect to student learning, with a focus on literacy and numeracy.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze and evaluate current student assessment processes using data to document student learning and development.
  2. Design an inclusive learning environment.
  3. Analyze program assessment models and key variables that impact successful implementation.
  4. Utilize technology to design curriculum, assessment, and instruction.
  5. Examine and evaluate various components of curriculum development processes that promote equity for all learners, including team building, data analysis, vertical and horizontal alignment, material selection, implementation, and on-going assessment.
  6. Interpret and communicate the results of data-based assessment and program evaluation to different constituencies.

EDS710 Leadership Theory (3 cr.)

The course focuses on applied theories of leadership behavior. It surveys the concepts of leadership effectiveness: leaders as change agents, and leaders as servants. The roles of leadership in organizational communication, control, empowerment, and conflict resolution are analyzed.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze and demonstrate strategies for improving the organizational structure and culture and climate for all stakeholders.
  2. Evaluate models of leadership theories.
  3. Apply leadership theories to appropriate situations.
  4. Analyze strategies that ground effective organizational leadership.
  5. Evaluate self-discovery as a factor in leadership.
  6. Evaluate the development of organizational vision.
  7. Evaluate the role of culture in leadership.
  8. Evaluate the role of ethics in leadership.
  9. Analyze the value of organizational diversity.
  10. Facilitate and evaluate organizational change.
  11. Demonstrate effective communication in various leadership situations.
     

 

EDS716 Leadership for Teaching and Learning (2 cr.)

The complex role of the instructional leader is defined through the exploration and analysis of staff development programs and instructional improvement strategies. Advocacy for curriculum, assessment, and instruction is examined. Supervision of instruction is emphasized based upon current statutes and regulations pertaining to staff development and evaluation. Research-based strategies for differentiating learning for special populations are investigated. The necessity for building communities of professional practice is studied as a key component in the development of a continuous school improvement model.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following

  1. Analyze the characteristics of effective instructional leaders.
  2. Practice advocacy for curriculum, assessment, and instruction for all learners.
  3. Design instructional strategies that incorporate each of the following into an organization's practice and routine: inclusion, multiple intelligences, personalized learning, learning styles, constructivism, authentic assessment, and inquiry for all student populations.
  4. Analyze and interpret current legal and contractual requirements for staff development/evaluation, and plan staff development to improve instructional skills and professional practices for all staff.
  5. Develop interventions and programmatic alternatives for students based on the results of various formal and informal assessments.
  6. Develop a structure to create a community of professional practice to enhance staff collaboration.

EDS720 Organization and Human Resource Management (2 cr.)

This course examines the organization, management, and evaluation of human, monetary, and physical resources needed for institutional improvement at all pre-K-12 educational levels. Policies and systems, and communication and negotiation skills to foster positive and productive performance from faculty and staff are analyzed using traditional and technological tools and resources.       

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe school and district staffing models and options for elementary and secondary schools.
  2. Plan, develop, and support a comprehensive program of student activities.
  3. Explain collective bargaining agreements and their provisions. 
  4. Design effective staff selection and employment practices that accommodate stakeholders, state licensing requirements, building and district needs, and school priorities.
  5. Evaluate options for professional and paraprofessional staff and evaluation.
  6. Describe the processes and considerations required for staff disciplinary actions, including federal and state due process provisions and district and professional organization contract provisions.

EDS731 Shaping an Inclusive School Culture (3 cr.)

The focus of this course is to develop leadership skills to promote, create, and monitor systems in the school and district that result in a nondiscriminatory, positive learning environment for all students.  Special emphasis is given to culturally, economically, and academically diverse students.  The effects of mental health conditions on the learning environment, including the roles and responsibilities of mental health professionals, are examined. Responses to contemporary issues facing school leaders, including student bullying, sexual orientation, gender identification, chemical dependency, suicide, and assault, are explored.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate leadership strategies to work with diversity in learning communities.
  2. Analyze differing needs of culturally, economically, and academically diverse students.
  3. Create plans for an inclusive learning environment that meets the needs of all students.
  4. Develop strategies to adapt educational programming to meet the needs of diverse constituencies.
  5. Explain the effects of various mental health conditions, including the effects of medication, on the educational, physical, social, and emotional needs of students.
  6. Articulate the roles and responsibilities of mental health and school health professionals in serving students and families in the school setting.
  7. Address the social, emotional, and academic needs of students from culturally diverse backgrounds.

EDS735 Student Management (2 cr.)

This course focuses on creating and sustaining safe, constructive learning environments. Behavior management systems and the use of instructional assessments, and instructional accommodations to establish a constructive environment for all learners are addressed.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze characteristics of effective instructional designs.
  2. Analyze various behavior management plans.
  3. Articulate issues and concerns related to students transitioning from one school and/or program level to another.
  4. Develop options for responding to various student behaviors.
  5. Formulate safety and security policies, plans and procedures for a safe and secure building, including areas of vulnerability and emergency response.
     

EDS740 Ethical Issues for Administrators (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the role of education in a democratic society and the ethical and moral leadership of school administrators. The balance of complex community demands in ethical decision making to serve the best interest of learners is examined. The Minnesota Board of School Administrators (MSBA) Code of Ethics is analyzed and its impact on the school climate and curriculum is examined.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Create plans to balance complex demands to best serve school constituencies.
  2. Analyze the interplay among the democratic value system, ethics, and moral leadership in education.
  3. Analyze the MBSA Code of Ethics and use it as a basis for situational analysis.
  4. Identify and balance complex community demands to best help learners develop as caring, informed citizens.
  5. Evaluate the issues of diversity and community relations in leading educational communities.
     

EDS741 Financial Management (3 cr.)

The emphasis of this course is on budget allocation, planning, reporting, and auditing laws and rules governing schools and school districts in Minnesota. Financial systems at the state, district, and school levels are evaluated. The course reviews the historical development of state funding for public education in Minnesota.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the historical progress of public education funding in Minnesota including the overall scope of the current system used to fund schools.
  2. Calculate and apply the various revenue formulas used to finance schools in Minnesota.
  3. Apply the principles of fund accounting used in the Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting System for Minnesota Schools (UFARS) in the development of budgets and the chart of accounts.
  4. Research the Minnesota property tax system that relates to school finance.
  5. Evaluate differing methods of budget development, their implementation, and their strengths and limitations.
  6. Analyze the legal issues involved in school financial management.
  7. Explain the need for accurate fiscal records for school and district finances, and budgets.
  8. Analyze options for allocation of personnel and material resources.

EDS742 Legal Issues in Education (3 cr.)

The emphasis of this course is on the identification, interpretation, and implementation of state and federal laws and legal issues affecting schools and school systems. Education case law, contract law, labor relations, policies, and regulations pertinent to school districts are discussed. Dispute resolution processes and resources are examined.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Review, analyze, and interpret federal and Minnesota statutory law related to education.
  2. Apply relevant case law, rules, policies, and regulations to school districts.
  3. Recognize and analyze issues and legal concepts specific to school law.
  4. Describe provisions of state and federal law pertaining to special needs.
  5. Analyze state and federal statutes, laws and provisions for alternative schools.
  6. Critique the process of collective bargaining of master contracts including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration between the school board and the various employee groups, and provisions of the master contracts.
  7. Articulate the process of dispute resolution as it pertains to conflict with parents, students, and various staff employee groups.
     

Superintendent Courses: 6 cr.

EDS760 The Superintendency (3 cr.)

This course provides a forum in which to demonstrate the core competencies specifically required of school district superintendents, including policy and law in school district governance and operations; political influence with local and state government and other agencies; communication with the school board in the district and community; organizational management of school district finances and operations; and judgment in promoting the vision and mission of the district.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze local, state, and federal public policy law in school district governance.
  2. Compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities of the superintendent, school board and other administrators.
  3. Identify and explain the influencing politics and governance of educational institutions.
  4. Promote effective relations with school board members and prospective members, district staff, and community members.
  5. Analyze factors affecting school district finances.
  6. Analyze a district’s mission and vision, demonstrating a balance between varied and competing interests.
     

EDS761 Superintendent Field Experience I (1 cr.)

Students identify the site(s) for their field experience in the application materials. The administrative field experience internship offers students opportunities to practice the knowledge and skills within the state-identified competencies for administrative licensure. Over the span of the three 1-credit courses, a total of 320 hours of service, under the supervision of an on-site licensed practicing administrator and a university advisor, are documented. Approximately 107 hours are completed per credit. Among the total 320 hours, at least 40 hours must be logged at a second education organization at the top leadership level. Students have, by Minnesota statute, a 12-month period to complete the 320 total hours.

Upon completion of each field experience course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Log approximately 107 hours of administrative field experience.
  2. Complete hours toward accumulating at least 40 hours at a second organization at the top leadership level.
  3. Practice the skills associated with the competencies for effective school leadership as prescribed by Minnesota Statues.
  4. Appraise and reflect on their knowledge of leadership techniques associated with school leadership.
  5. Compose, collect, and assemble items of evidence documenting engagement in activities which support personal growth in the competencies.

EDS762 Superintendent Field Experience II (1 cr.)

The administrative field experience internship offers students opportunities to practice the knowledge and skills within the state-identified competencies for administrative licensure. Over the span of the three 1-credit courses, a total of 320 hours of service, under the supervision of an on site licensed practicing administrator and a university advisor, are documented. Approximately 107 hours are completed per credit. Among the total 320 hours, at least 40 hours must be logged at a second education organization at the top leadership level. Students have, by Minnesota statute, a 12-month period to complete the 320 total hours.

Upon completion of each field experience course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Log approximately 107 hours of administrative field experience.
  2. Complete hours toward accumulating at least 40 hours at a second organization at the top leadership level.
  3. Practice the skills associated with the competencies for effective school leadership as prescribed by Minnesota Statues.
  4. Appraise and reflect on their knowledge of leadership techniques associated with school leadership.
  5. Compose, collect, and assemble items of evidence documenting engagement in activities which support personal growth in the competencies.
     

EDS763 Superintendent Field Experience III (1 cr.)

The administrative field experience internship offers students opportunities to practice the knowledge and skills within the state-identified competencies for administrative licensure. Over the span of the three 1-credit courses, a total of 320 hours of service, under the supervision of an on site licensed practicing administrator and a university advisor, are documented. Approximately 107 hours are completed per credit. Among the total 320 hours, at least 40 hours must be logged at a second education organization at the top leadership level. Students have, by Minnesota statute, a 12-month period to complete the 320 total hours.

Upon completion of each field experience course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Log approximately 107 hours of administrative field experience.
  2. Complete hours toward accumulating at least 40 hours at a second organization at the top leadership level.
  3. Practice the skills associated with the competencies for effective school leadership as prescribed by Minnesota Statues.
  4. Appraise and reflect on their knowledge of leadership techniques associated with school leadership.
  5. Compose, collect, and assemble items of evidence documenting engagement in activities which support personal growth in the competencies.
     

Certificate Completion: 0 cr.

EDS776 Exit Assessment Meeting (0 cr.)

This course is the concluding activity for a student seeking education administration licensure as a superintendent in Minnesota. Achievement of the state-identified competencies is evaluated based on the student's portfolio presentation to a committee and responses to questions raised regarding leadership and problem-solving situations. Students are required to submit evidence of competencies; a personal assessment of their growth in the competencies; and a competency reflection in which they relate their preparation, growth, increased insight, and understanding for each competency.  

Upon completion of the activity, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Prepare a portfolio documenting achievement of the superintendent competencies for presentation to a panel of university faculty and practicing administrators.
  2. Respond to case study situations to demonstrate critical analysis and problem-solving skills.
  3. Complete the necessary forms and documentation required to secure university endorsement for application to the Department of Education for superintendent licensure.

Connect With Us

Michelle Dougherty, M.A.

SGPP Admission - Enrollment Counselor Graduate School of Education

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH112

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5122

mdougher@smumn.edu

Faculty

William Bjorum, Ed.D.

Educational Specialist in Educational Admin. - Program Director

Mother Teresa Hall-TC Campus, MTH19

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5126

wbjorum@smumn.edu

William Bjorum Ed.D.
Carl Wahlstrom, Ed.D.

Associate Director - Education Specialist in Educational Administration, Education - Adjunct Professor

Mother Teresa Hall-TC Campus, MTH21

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4539

cwahlstr@smumn.edu

Carl Wahlstrom Ed.D.
Matthew Neil

Education Administration Programs - Program Coordinator

The Heights, HT201

Campus Box: # 68

(612) 728-5155

mneil@smumn.edu

Matthew Neil
Madeline Matthews

M.A. in Teaching - Minneapolis Program Coordinator

Mother Teresa Hall-TC Campus, MTH23

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4562

mmatthew@smumn.edu

Madeline Matthews
Jennifer Backer, M.Ed.

Ed.S. in Educational Administration - Adjunct Instructor

Thomas Coughlin, M.S.

Education Admin - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Deborah Hilde, M.A.

Education - Adjunct Program Instructor

(218) 744-7707

djhild07@smumn.edu

Lyle Koski, Ph.D.

Educational Administrative Licensure Program - Adjunct Associate Professor

Susan Manikowski, M.Ed.

MA Education Program - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Karen Mortenson, M.S.

Ed.S. Education Administration Program - Adjunct Associate Professor

Janet Pladson, Ed.D.

Ed.S. In Educational Admin. - Adjunct Assistant Professor

(952) 975-7165

jpladson@smumn.edu

Bruce Santerre, Ed.D.

Ed.S. In Educational Administration - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Susan Slater, Ed.D.

Educational Administration Licensure - Adjunct

Gregory Spath, Ed.S.

Educational Admin Licensure - Adjunct Program Instructor

Campus Box: # 28

(507) 449-0010

gspath@smumn.edu

Gregory Spath Ed.S.
Beverly Stofferahn, M.S.

Education - Advisor

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5204

bstoffer@smumn.edu

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