WSU Leadership Education students discussing

Superintendent

Certificate, Licensure & Degree

The Superintendent program is designed for individuals who wish to achieve proficiency beyond the master's degree in a district-level leadership role, such as a school superintendent.

Certificate & Licensure Option

The K-12 Principal Certificate acknowledges students seeking endorsement for state (MN and WI) licensure as a K-12 Principal but not seeking the Specialist (EdS) degree. This is a formal licensure area for Minnesota schools. Licensure is a state function through the Minnesota Board of School Administrators (BOSA), for which the WSU Education Leadership Department is an approved program aligning with the rules outlined in Minnesota Rule 3512.2500.

Wisconsin accepts the WSU endorsement for Superintendent and Iowa requires the candidate receive a Minnesota K-12 superintendent license. The Minnesota Superintendent license is accepted for at least a provisional superintendent's license in many other states.

Degree Option

The superintendency is also an emphasis within the Education Specialist Degree (EdS) in Education Leadership. The EdS degree requires the same coursework and experiences as licensure with the addition of six credits related to research and scholarly study.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities that have any financial aid eligible programs that “prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation” to disclose certain information, such as program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; occupational profiles; and the number of students who have completed the program.

A Gainful Employment Disclosure for the Superintendent Graduate Certificate program is provided.

Licensure Option

Licensure as a superintendent requires that you have completed three years as a teacher in the area in which you were certified. Licensure as a Superintendent requires the following coursework:
  • 24 credits of licensure courses (or their equivalent done at the master’s level)
  • 6 credits of internship for the Superintendency

Up to 20 graduate credits (beyond the MS degree) may be transferred into a licensure-only program.
Any graduate coursework taken in leadership may be used to waive required coursework. Extended experience in a specific area of leadership may be considered when completing a program of study. See your academic advisor for details.

Degree Option

For the Education Specialist Degree you must complete a minimum of 30 credits beyond the Master’s Degree. This includes:

  • 24 credits of licensure courses (or their equivalent done at the master’s level)
  • 6 credits of internship for the Superintendency
  • 6 credits related to research

Up to 10 graduate credits (beyond the MS degree) may be transferred into a WSU EdS degree.

Both Options

Any graduate coursework taken in leadership may be used to waive required coursework. Extended experience in a specific area of leadership may be considered when completing a program of study. See your academic advisor for details. 

Core Licensure Courses (24 S.H.)

LDRS 612 - Systems Thinking  (3 S.H.)
LDRS 614 - Change Leadership (3 S.H.)
EL 610 - School Law (3 S.H.)
EL 622 - Principalship (3 S.H.)
EL 628 - Human Resources & Collective Bargaining (3 S.H.)
EL 635 - Public Relations and Politics (3 S.H.)
El 736 - Administrative Decision Making (3 S.H.)
El 756 - Administrative Decision Making (3 S.H.)
Internship Courses (4 S.H.)

EL 771 - Superintendency InternshipI (3 S.H.)
EL 772 - Superintendency Internship II (3 S.H.)

 
Course descriptions and additional information about the Superintendent Licensure option and Degree option is available.

Candidates for licensure must be approved by the Licensing Review Panel before being endorsed for a Minnesota and/or Wisconsin license. All course work and internships must have been completed before meeting with the panel in early June or December.

The WSU Licensing Review Panel reviews each candidate’s preparation and personally interviews the candidate. This panel of practicing school leaders and professors is intended to verify the student’s active and successful participation in a program of study leading to the license. Students need to contact the department chair (in April or October) as they near the end of their program, for inclusion on the panel’s agenda.

When applying for a superintendent licensure, the BOSA Competency Matrix for Superintendent (PDF) must be completed. If the candidate is applying for licensure as a K-12 principal and as a superintendent, the BOSA Competency Matrix for K-12 & Superintendent (PDF) should be completed. Instructions (PDF) for completing the BOSA Competency Form are provided.

To apply for a Minnesota state license, visit the Minnesota Department of Education website and log in or create an account to access the application form. To apply for a Wisconsin state license, complete the WI  PI 1612 Institutional Endorsements and Assurances (PDF) form provided.

Each internship is 160 hours and meaningfully immersed in the environment, activities, decisions and tasks of a superintendent. The site for the internship is initiated by the student and a site supervisor (a practicing superintendent) approached. The University Internship Supervisor will finalize these arrangements or can assist in finding a site and site supervisor. Site visits by the University Supervisor are used to initiate a list of activities for the semester and review the candidate’s engagement at the end of the semester. A reflective journal is kept to personalize the internship experiences and formalize connections to course work and leadership theories. 

EDUO 808 - Program Evaluation (3 S.H.)
EL 799 - Specialist Degree Field Study (3 S.H.)

The field study is a scholarly or academic activity intended to better prepare a leader for the meaningful understanding of schools and organizations. The activities of identifying a research question, understanding how others have answered the question previously, collecting relevant data and analyzing them, and preparing a written summary are useful skills for any leader. Specific parts of the field study are completed during this course. EL 799 Field Study Advisement is the companion experience to EDUO 808 during which students meet one-on-one with their field study advisors. During this experience, a final document is prepared (the field study) and students prepare for a professional dialogue with their field study committees (often called the defense).