School Executive Leadership

The School Executive Leadership program at SPU emphasizes the knowledge and skills you will need for an executive-level leadership position. The program contains content similar to the Superintendent Certification program under two different tracks. The first track provides professional development opportunities for certificated candidates. The second track leads to Program Administrator Certification. It is also possible to apply credits from either track toward the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree.

Who Should Pursue This Program

The School Executive Leadership program is intended for those who wish to prepare to become educational leaders outside the superintendency. Distinct from the Superintendent Certification program, this program is designed for both certificated and non-certificated educational leaders. Applicants must have a minimum of two years of building or district level administrative experience prior to acceptance into the program.

The Executive Leadership program  provides certificated candidates with professional development opportunities within a specialized area. Non-certificated students or those who hold either current teacher or ESA certification while serving in a district-level position may complete the Executive Leadership program and obtain a Program Administrator Certificate.

Designed for working professionals, coursework and internships in the School Executive Leadership program are based on a convenient two-year cohort model that allows students to attend class while continuing their work responsibilities.  


Both tracks of the School Executive Leadership program (see below) are based on ISLLC (Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium) standards and designed to be reflective, experiential, practical, and relevant to the profession. The program will equip you to

  • develop and implement a vision for learning that is supported by school and community stakeholders;
  • sustain a coherent professional development and instructional program conducive to student learning;
  • manage the organization and resources for a safe and effective learning environment;
  • collaborate with families and community members to mobilize resources in responding to diverse community interests and needs;
  • act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner;
  • understand and appropriately respond to the political, social, and cultural dynamics of a school district.

Opportunity to pursue the Doctor of Education (EdD)
Both tracks of the School Executive Leadership program meet the majority of the specialization requirement for SPU's Doctor of Education (EdD) degree.

Program Components

The Executive Leadership program includes two tracks, and coursework for both tracks are built on a two-year cohort model.

Track 1: Executive Leadership with Specialization (27 credits)

Certificated students complete the same coursework for the Superintendent Certificate but replace the field experience with two electives in a chosen specialization and/or an applied field study in the area of specialization.

Areas of Specialization for Executive Leaders

  • Teaching and Learning (Curriculum and Instruction)
  • Finance and Business
  • Human Relations Administration
  • Special Education
  • Support Programs (Remediation, ELL, etc.)

Track 2: Executive Leadership with Program Administrator Certification (24-27 credits)

Non-certificated candidates complete the same coursework for the Superintendent Certificate but receive Program Administrator Certification. This track requires at least 360 hours of field experience and the number of required credits for the program is dependent on experience and desired position.

Integrated Courses

The Core Curriculum for both tracks includes six integrated and standards-based courses that link previous experiences to the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for senior level leadership positions.  

Leadership Seminars

To enhance collegiality, collaboration, and practitioner skills, three professional growth planning seminars are integrated into the program. In these seminars, students in both tracks discuss problems of practice, share insights gained from their specialization work or applied field study, assist in developing a Professional Growth Plan, and present key findings from integrated projects.


Courses meet three times per academic quarter (once a month) on Friday afternoon/evenings and Saturday mornings.

The Faculty

Faculty members in the School Executive Leadership program are seasoned professionals. Their cumulative experience spans a variety of educational levels and positions, including building principals, assistant superintendents, and superintendents of both large- and medium-size school districts. In addition, adjunct senior-level administrators (superintendent, deputy superintendent, assistant superintendent) complement the regular faculty and provide contemporary relevance to the program.

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit the following items to Graduate Admissions:

  • Application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Official transcript documenting bachelor's degree (including official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended).
  • Official transcript documenting master's degree.
    • Note, to be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the college or university. Transcripts may be delivered to Graduate Admissions as long as they remain in their original, unopened university envelope. Electronic transcripts received via eSCRIP-SAFE or Parchment Exchange are also acceptable.
    • If your degree is not from a US college or university, please arrange for your transcript to be evaluated by an accredited transcript-evaluation company, such as FIS or WES. Have the report forwarded directly to Graduate Admissions. 
  • Copy of current professional teacher or ESA certificate, if applicable. 
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé.
  • Two letters of recommendation (one supervisory, one professional).
  • Site Agreement form, if applicable, available in the application.

Application Deadlines

Autumn Quarter: August 15
Winter Quarter: November 15
Spring Quarter: February 15
Summer Session: May 15

Faculty Chair

John B. Bond

Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Supervision; Chair of Educational Leadership
EdD, Seattle Pacific University

Phone: 206-281-2554
Office: Peterson Hall 419


Graduate Admissions

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Because your needs are specific to fit your career, our graduate programs are not “one size fits all.” Graduate Admissions is your source for information on all SPU graduate programs, as well as admissions and events.