University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut




The Executive Leadership Program is a one-year program designed to proelpvide aspiring individuals outstanding preparation for taking on the leadership role and responsibilities of a Superintendent of Schools and other District Office leadership positions. Graduates of this program qualify for the Connecticut superintendent’s certificate and possess the knowledge necessary for successfully meeting the challenges of the 21st century superintendency.



  • Five (5) three-credit courses including a two semester internship with an experienced ELP Mentor Superintendent (3 credits). Participants can expect to attain their CT 093 certification in one year upon satisfactory completion of this program. 
  • Superintendent Internship–The internship or clinical practicum is a key component of the program.  Participants are paired with an experienced superintendent mentor. Internship experiences typically take place on evenings, Saturdays, vacation periods, and during the regular school week. Participants use professional development and vacation time to meet this requirement. The internship culminates with a Capstone Project completed during the spring semester in the cohort member’s district in cooperation with the superintendent. The ELP Internship is coordinated and supported through a partnership between the Department of Educational Leadership and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS).
  • Each course is delivered through a balance of academic and practitioner perspectives and emphasizes applied theory and case studies around authentic district leadership problems of practice. 
  • University and clinical faculty will serve as instructors in this program. Experienced superintendents and state policy-makers play an active role in the in “Neag/CAPSS Best Practices Seminars.”
  • Special Education course work, a requirement for the CT superintendent’s certificate, will be incorporated throughout the program.
  • Location: All sessions will be held in a Hartford area location.


  • EDLR 6301 School District Executive Leadership (5 day summer schedule, typically early to mid July from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM – 3 credits)
  • EDLR 6303 School District Policy, Politics and Governance (Fall Semester, 6 sessions, typically 3 Thursday afternoons from 1:30 to 6:30 PM and 3 Saturday mornings from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM -3 credits)
  • EDLR 6302 Data-Driven Decision Making for School Improvement and Policy Development (Spring Semester, 6 sessions, typically 3 Thursday afternoons from 1:30 to 6:30 PM and 3 Saturday mornings from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM – 3 credits)
  • EDLR 6304 Financial and Human Resources Management in Education (5 day summer schedule [second summer], typically early to mid July – 3 credits)
  • EDLR 6092 Internship/Practicum (both semesters with 5 “CAPSS/Neag Best Practices in District Leadership Internship Seminars” from 3:30 to 6:30 PM @ CAPPS – 3 credits)


All class dates for the year are provided in July so participants can plan professional and personal schedules around the program dates.


The goal of all programs in the Department of Educational Leadership is to develop leaders who have the skills and knowledge required to guide systemic school and school district reform. To this end the Executive Leadership Program is linked conceptually with the Ed.D. Program. In the Executive Leadership Program participants learn the practical skills necessary to address problems of practice associated with district leadership. The Ed.D. Program builds upon and extends these skills. Specifically, the focus in the Ed.D. Program is on developing an educational leader’s ability to (a) lead a district-wide inquiry process that explores and identifies the systemic and root causes of problems of practice and (b) formulate solutions based on this inquiry that have conceptual depth and breadth.  Students who complete the 093 program will be given priority consideration in the Ed.D. Program application process and students who complete the Ed.D. Program first will be given priority consideration for the Executive Leadership Program.

Students interested in discussing the Ed.D. and ELP sequencing options are encouraged to contact Dr. Jennie Weiner or Dr. Robert Villanova.


Given the complex and critical nature of district leadership-particularly in the position of superintendent, the Executive Leadership Program intends to admit educational leaders who have both demonstrated strong and effective educational leadership to date and leaders with the strong potential to lead a school district. (See the LEAD CT Superintendent Competency Framework for a summary of district leadership understandings and skills tied directly to State and national district leadership standards that are the learning objectives for the Executive Leadership Program.)

Each candidate for admission to the Executive Leadership Program will participate in a 30-45 minute interview to both review the information provided by the candidate in the application and to provide each candidate the opportunity to elaborate upon his/her qualifications for acceptance into the Program. All candidates will be notified of the acceptance decision.

1. Criteria for acceptance include: a Master’s degree and a minimum of 15 appropriately related graduate credits beyond Master’s, an established record of successful educational leadership experience, demonstrated ability to sustain positive professional relationships, demonstrated capacity to lead an organization, demonstrated ability lead an educational organization that has improved student performance over time, professional references that address the potential for effective district level leadership, and a strong academic record.

2. The Executive Leadership Program is specifically designed to prepare district leaders who have served successfully as the “lead” administrator for four (4) or more years in a position that requires the Connecticut Intermediate Administrator Certificate (092), such as a principal or central office leader.

3. A candidate’s application file must be complete prior to the interview. Application materials and interview responses will be reviewed and rated using the following criteria:

Transcripts reflect academic aptitude for advanced graduate work

Personal Statement reflects professional aspirations in line with ELP goals and a leadership pathway that aligns with the challenges of a district leadership position

Two written recommendations attest to the candidate’s potential for successful performance as a district leader prepared to create the conditions for effective teaching, learning and leading at the district level

4. Interview Focus:

In order to attract and accept candidates most likely to build upon a strong record of achievement-oriented educational leadership with an experienced-based focus on the twin and complimentary goals of creating the conditions for high student achievement at scale and  a demonstrated  understanding of and commitment to critical educational equity issues, interview questions and scenarios for analysis will focus on these specific areas.

Each candidate must bring to the interview session one or more artifacts that provide evidence of how his or her leadership work has had a positive impact on important educational results or outcomes. Please make every effort to bring materials or reports for which you are the primary author or responsible agent.

School or district improvement plans are one example of an acceptable artifact and if you decide to share one of these, please be certain that you include some type of data portrayal that reflects the impact of the improvement plan on results you believe are important and/or significant..

Candidates will be asked to talk through their leadership in relation to the artifact shared at the interview.