School of Education

Superintendent Certification

Shape the future. Change the world

You have vision and commitment, and strive to see your community and students succeed. You’re a leader who knows that the most important job of the school district is to make sure students are learning and achieving at high levels. You long to be in a position to explain how new legislation, new laws, and changing expectations can lift the work of educators and create new opportunities. You’re ready to grow and remain focused on the core work of education as a superintendent.

At a Glance

  • check mark icon Upcoming Application Deadline Autumn Quarter: August 15
  • check mark icon Accreditation - Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

  • check mark icon Expected Time to Completion 24 months
  • check mark icon Format Designed for working professionals, coursework and internships in the Superintendent Certification program are based on a convenient, two-year cohort model that allows you to attend class while continuing your work responsibilities.
  • check mark icon Credits to Graduate 27

Program Overview


THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION DIFFERENCE

Seattle Pacific was founded more than 125 years ago, and the University has been preparing some of the most sought-after educators in the region for more than 90 years. Today, entrance to School of Education graduate programs is highly competitive. Faculty members – each teaching his or her own courses and each holding a doctorate – have worked to develop rigorous programs of quality.

The School of Education at Seattle Pacific University offers more than a dozen graduate programs. You can choose from three doctoral programs, seven master’s degree programs, and five certification programs, all of which focus on developing competence, character, leadership, and service in educators. While many students train to become teachers, others prepare for roles as school counselors, principals, superintendents, district office personnel, or professors in higher education. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and across the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

Why Seattle Pacific for your Superintendent Certification?

Based on National Education Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards, the Superintendent Certification program at SPU emphasizes the knowledge and skills you will need for district-level administrative assignments in the P–12 school setting, such as superintendent, deputy superintendent, associate and assistant superintendent, director, and similar roles. The Superintendent Certification program leads to a Washington administrator's certificate, and seasoned professionals—using their cumulative experience spanning a variety of educational levels and positions—get you there. In addition, adjunct senior-level administrators complement the regular faculty and provide contemporary relevance to the program.

Earn the Superintendent Certification in this stand-alone program or with the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree by selecting the Executive Leadership specialization option when applying, in which you can receive your EdD and superintendent certification in just three years—instead of the typical four to five years.

  1. Accomplished Faculty

    Expert, caring faculty have a desire to help students succeed. Faculty are known for mentoring their students during and following their educational programs. These professors model lifelong learning through scholarly activities of their own, publishing frequently, and presenting at professional conferences.

  2. AACU Membership

    Seattle Pacific is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. SPU certification programs are approved by the Washington state Professional Educator Standards Board. The School of Education is also a member of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education, and has a chapter, Sigma Phi Upsilon, of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling.

  3. Deep Ethics Emphasis

    Built on an ethical foundation, the graduate programs at SPU offer first-class education through the lens of Christian faith and values. Students take ethics courses, and ethical issues are integrated throughout the curriculum.

  4. Flexible Format

    Designed for working professionals, coursework and field experiences in the Superintendent Certification program are based on a convenient, two-year cohort model that allows you to attend class while continuing your work responsibilities.

  5. Connected Alumni

    School of Education graduates move on to purposeful careers in schools and district-level leadership throughout the country. When you obtain a graduate degree from SPU’s School of Education, you join a community of alumni who stay connected.

Related Program

EdD + Superintendent Certification—Executive Leadership Specialization

You can earn your EdD and Superintendent Certification at SPU in just three years — instead of the typical four to five years. This option combines best leadership practices with effective use of educational policy and research.

While both the Superintendent Certification program and the School Executive Leadership program prepare educational leaders, only the Superintendent Certification program leads to a Washington administrator's certificate. Those students who hold a prerequisite teacher, ESA, CTE or principal certificate should enroll in the Superintendent Certification program to be eligible for the Washington Initial Superintendent Certificate. Students who do not hold a teaching certificate should enroll in the School Executive Leadership program. Applicants must have a minimum of two years of building or district level administrative experience prior to acceptance into the program.

Faculty Chair

John B. Bond

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

Email: bondj@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2554
Office: Peterson Hall 419

Back to top

Curriculum

While both the Superintendent Certification program and the School Executive Leadership program prepare educational leaders, only the Superintendent Certification program leads to a Washington administrator's certificate. Those students who hold a prerequisite teacher, ESA, CTE or principal certificate should enroll in the Superintendent Certification program to be eligible for the Washington Initial Superintendent Certificate. Students who do not hold a teaching certificate should enroll in the School Executive Leadership program. Applicants must have a minimum of two years of building or district level administrative experience prior to acceptance into the program.

PROGRAM SCHEDULE & COHORT INFO

The Superintendent Certificate program includes coursework and an internship in a two-year cohort model. Courses meet three times per academic quarter (once a month) on Friday afternoons/evenings and Saturday mornings.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

Integrated Courses

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

  • EDAD 7581   Systems Leadership (3)
  • EDAD 7582   Educational Law and Policy Studies (3)
  • EDAD 7584   Resource Management (3)
  • EDAD 7586   Interpersonal Relations (3)
  • EDAD 7588   Improving Student Learning (3)
  • EDAD 7589   Policy, Governance, and Ethics (3)

Internship

Students in the Superintendent Certification program are required to complete a 360-hour field experience (EDAD 7890, 6 credits) over two years to qualify for a Superintendent Certificate. The field-based experience blends theory and practical course applications into actual leadership experiences. These internship experiences are guided by a designated district supervisor and overseen by SPU Educational Leadership faculty.

Leadership Seminars

To enhance collegiality, collaboration, and practitioner skills, each Friday course session is preceded by a leadership seminar. In these seminars, students discuss problems of practice, share insights gained from the field experience, assist in developing a professional growth plan, and present key findings from integrated projects. The seminars are integral parts of the field experience.

Certification

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be recommended to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for an Initial Superintendent Certificate in Washington state. Most states have reciprocal agreements that allow certificates to be transferred between states

Back to top

Continuing Education

To meet the changing needs of adult learners, Seattle Pacific University offers a wide range of programs and courses to meet the needs of today's professionals. With competitive credit and program rates, these personal and professional development opportunities make lifelong learning very affordable. As the largest provider of continuing education credits for teachers in Washington State, SPU's Center for Professional Education is focused on the current needs of K-12 educators.

Courses taken for credit and numbered at the 5000 level are graduate-level courses and are designed primarily with the needs of teachers and other professionals in mind for the purpose of meeting certification, endorsement, district pay lane requirements and other professional needs. These Graduate-level courses may be considered to meet elective requirements in some cases.

Still have questions? Review FAQs

Back to top

Costs

TUITION AND FEES FOR 2019–20

money icon

$698

per credit

dollar icon

$50

application fee

textbook icon

27

credits to complete

FINANCIAL AID

Before applying for aid, you must first be admitted to a graduate program. Make sure you:

  • Enroll in at least 3 credits (or half-time) toward a degree or eligible certificate each quarter.
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

You may take advantage of scholarships and loans. SPU does not have a deadline for graduate financial aid, though earlier is always better than later! 

Learn more about the FAFSA and applying for financial help.

Learn more about scholarships, assistantships, and loans available to graduate students.

FEES

Find out more about administrative and other School of Education program fees.

Back to top

Application Info

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Applicants must have a minimum of two years of building or district level administrative experience prior to acceptance into the program. Applicants who hold a prerequisite teacher, ESA, CTE or principal certificate should enroll in the Superintendent Certification program to be eligible for the Washington Initial Superintendent Certificate. Students who do not hold a teaching certificate should enroll in the School Executive Leadership program.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Applicants must submit the following items to Graduate Admissions:

  • Application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Copy of current teaching certificate.
  • Copy of current administrator's certificate.
  • 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. 
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé.
  • Two letters of recommendation (one supervisory, one professional).
  • Site Agreement form, available in the application.

APPLICATION DEADLINE

August 15

NOTE: The Superintendent Certification program is designed as a cohort model. Cohorts begin each Autumn quarter. Winter quarter admission is possible under rare circumstances.

APPLICATION AND ADMISSIONS QUESTIONS?

Contact Graduate Admissions at 800-601-0603 or gradadmissions@spu.edu.

Back to top

Frequently Asked Questions

How selective is admission to the SPU School of Education graduate degree programs?

This varies by program. Admission to some programs, such as the Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS), Accerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT), and MEd in School Counseling, is very competitive. Admission to each of SPU's graduate programs in education is standards-based, and all applicants must meet all standards for admission.

Can I continue to work while enrolled in a graduate degree program in the SPU School of Education?

Yes, in most cases. Most of the graduate degree programs offered by the School of Education are part-time programs, with classes offered in a variety of worker-friendly venues. Education graduate courses are scheduled at SPU or off campus, in the evenings, occasionally on Saturdays, and during the summer.

The Acclerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT) and Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS) programs are exceptions. They are one-year full-time programs due to their full-time internships.

Is it possible to complete a graduate degree from SPU's School of Education online?

The School of Education offers several fully online programs, including the AMAT-OnlineAMTMS-OnlineDigital Education Leadership, and Teacher Leadership programs. Please review the program pages for eligibility requirements.

Is a graduate program at SPU more expensive than comparable education programs at other universities?

SPU's graduate tuition rates are competitive with other accredited universities in Washington.

How does a graduate degree or graduate certificate from SPU compare with a similar degree or certificate from other universities?

SPU's School of Education has been offering a wide range of fully accredited master's and doctoral degrees in addition to graduate certificates for more than 20 years. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and around the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

Back to top