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About Executive Leadership

The UConn Neag School of Education’s Executive Leadership Program (ELP) 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 (093) and possess the knowledge necessary for successfully meeting the current challenges of district leadership.

The Executive Leadership Program is specifically designed to prepare district leaders who have:

  • Served successfully as the “lead” administrator for three or more years in a position that requires the Connecticut Intermediate Administrator Certificate (092), such as a principal or central office leader.
  • Must have completed a master’s degree plus a minimum of 15 appropriately related graduate credits beyond a master’s degree.
  • Established a 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

Highlights of the program include:

  • A cohort model, where participants complete 15 credits over the course of 13 months and build lasting professional relationships that will follow them throughout their careers
  • Convenient locations, with all sessions held in either the Hartford or Stamford areas 
  • Coursework and structured clinical experiences that prepare participants to demonstrate mastery of National District Leader standards as reflected in the CT Common Core of Leading and the LEAD CT Superintendent Competency Framework
  • UConn institutional endorsement for the CT 093 Superintendent Certification
  • Internships in district leadership, which include guided mentorships, offered in partnership with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS)
  • A focus on equity, allowing graduates to implement equitable practices across all elements of a school system, removing injustices and ensuring success for all 
  • A focus on quality instruction in which individuals are equipped with the necessary skills to excel in superintendent/district leadership roles
  • Networking with approximately 70 current ELP graduates/superintendents across Connecticut
  • A pathway from the ELP to the UConn Ed.D. program, where credits will be applied for accepted participants

Relationship to UConn’s Ed.D. Program

The goal of all programs in UConn’s 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 UConn’s 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 lead a district-wide inquiry process that explores and identifies the systemic and root causes of problems of practice and formulates 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 Casey Cobb.

Partnership with CAPSSConnecticut Association of Public School Superintendents Logo

The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) has served as a key partner for UConn’s Executive Leadership Program since its inception in 2001. 

More than 30 current and past CAPSS superintendents have served as class presenters and panel members in various Executive Leadership Program class sessions.

Most importantly, CAPSS helps recruit and prepare superintendents from across the state to serve as ELP Superintendent Mentors, playing a critical role in working with ELP participants in the full-year ELP internship.  More than 100 CAPSS superintendents have served as ELP Mentor Superintendents since the start of this program.

Each year, the CAPSS executive director welcomes the new ELP Cohort and describes the opportunities and challenges that the aspiring superintendents must be prepared to face, as well as outlining CAPSS programs, services, and support. CAPSS also allows the Executive Leadership Program to hold various classes and programs at the CAPSS Office in West Hartford, which is a central location from most Connecticut districts.