How to Apply


To be considered for admission to the Executive Leadership Program, the applicant must submit the materials listed below by April 1*:

  • A completed Executive Leadership Program Graduate Certificate online application.
  • Supporting documents:
    1. College and graduate school transcripts which reflect academic aptitude for advanced graduate work**
    2. A personal statement (typed, 275-350 words max.) that reflects your professional leadership aspirations in line with our program's goals and outlines a leadership pathway that aligns with the challenges of a district leadership position.
    3. Two written recommendations that attest to your educational leadership experiences, the potential for your successful performance as a district leader, your preparation to create the conditions for effective teaching, learning and leading at the district level.

Given the complex and critical nature of district leadership, particularly in the position as superintendent, the Executive Leadership Program intends to admit educational leaders who have both demonstrated effective educational leadership and the ability 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.)

All candidates will be notified of the acceptance decision no later than May 31st.

**During the application process, an applicant is asked to provide unofficial transcripts for any coursework or institutions previously attended.  If the applicant has their own copy of the transcript, it can be scanned and uploaded into the application system while an official copy is mailed.

Please email questions to Kimberly Shirshac (


Early application period: November 1 - January 15

Regular application period: January 15 - April 1

30-45 minute interview to follow application deadline

2023-24 Program Timeline

*ELP Application for Current Neag School of Education Ed.D. Students:

Please note that the timeline is different for current Neag School Ed.D. students. Current Neag School Ed.D. students will apply by December 30 for spring admission (During application elect “Spring 2024” Entry Term). All other candidates will apply for summer admission by January 15 (early application period) or by April 1 (During application elect “Summer 2024” Entry Term).


  • The Executive Leadership Program is specifically designed to prepare district leaders who have served successfully as the 'lead' administrator for three (3) or more years in a position that requires the Connecticut Intermediate Administrator Certificate (092), such as a principal or central office leader
  • A master’s degree + a minimum of 15 appropriately related graduate credits beyond a master’s degree
  • An established record of successful educational leadership experience through a demonstrated:
    • Ability to sustain positive professional relationships
    • Capacity to lead an organization
    • Ability to lead an educational organization that has improved student performance over time
  • Professional references that address the potential for effective district level leadership


A candidate’s application file must be complete prior to the interview.

Each candidate will participate in a 30- to 45-minute interview to review the information provided in the application and for the candidate to elaborate on their qualifications for acceptance into the program. Interviews are held virtually.

In order to attract and accept candidates most likely to build on a strong record of achievement-oriented educational leadership with an experienced-based focus and complimentary goals of creating 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 their 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.