The Executive Leadership Program is a one-year program designed to provide 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 6302 Data-Driven Decision Making for School Improvement and Policy (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 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 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 (full-year internship with 6 “CAPSS/Neag Best Practices in District Leadership Internship Seminars” from 3:30 to 6:30 PM @ CAPPS – 3 credits)

    Typically, class dates for the year are provided in late June to mid July, so participants can plan personal and professional 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.  For interested ELP graduates, the Department of Educational Leadership created a pathway from ELP to Ed.D. where credits will be applied upon successful admission to the Ed.D. Program.

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