Adult students stand and speak with an instructor

About Administrator Preparation

The University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) is designed for Connecticut-certified educators with at least three years of teaching experience and an interest in school-level leadership. It offers aspiring school administrators an opportunity to earn a sixth-year diploma in educational administration through UConn’s Neag School of Education. Graduates also may be eligible for the 092 certification endorsement as an intermediate administrator in the state of Connecticut.

Cohort Model

UCAPP is based on a cohort model, bringing together a group of students for all courses and assignments for the duration of the program.

Students can enroll in the following locations


(2025, 2027, etc.)
West Hartford


(2024, 2026, etc.)
New Haven

There are 6 cohort locations, only 3-4 locations accept applications each year.
*New for Summer 2025. The launch of the Waterbury cohort is dependent on recruitment of a minimum number of students.

Core Program Elements

School districts statewide are seeking to develop a pipeline of well-qualified and capable leaders who can lead highly effective schools, including those with diverse needs. In response to the ongoing demand for competent school leaders, the Neag School has designed a program focused on preparing highly qualified school leaders to promote equity and excellence in schools for all students. Core elements of UCAPP include:

  • A hands-on, customized internship in a district or school outside of your current place of employment. Every effort is made to secure placements based on your preferences for geographic location, school level, and type of community. The internship is supported by leadership coaching that aligns practicum experience with coursework content.
  • Mentors and leadership coaches with successful track records in leading schools for equity and excellence who guide you during your internship.
  • Highly qualified instructors, including UConn faculty and local educators, with a wealth of academic and practical experience.
  • Spiraling curriculum aligned to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and Connecticut School Leadership Standards.
  • A standards-based program of study that aims to develop the knowledge and skill set essential for effective school leadership, exceeding minimum certification requirements.
  • Selective admission through a performance-based screening process.

Unique to UCAPP

In addition to the above, every UCAPP student has the opportunity to take advantage of a unique set of program experiences:

  • An enhanced program thanks to UCAPP's past participation in the nationwide effort known as the University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI). In 2016, UConn was one of seven universities selected to join this initiative, funded by New York City-based Wallace Foundation, aimed at improving training for aspiring administrators.
  • Engagement and completion of four Core Assessment tasks that allow you to practice authentic principalship work in schools within your clinical experience.
  • The UCAPP change project, the capstone core assessment task, in which you will identify a specific issue facing your internship school or the school where you work to lead a school improvement initiative.
  • Site visits to schools of excellence to learn from highly effective leaders.
  • Participation in a variety of SchoolSims simulations that emulate real-world leadership scenarios, allowing you to decide on a course of action, implement it, and experience its consequences.
  • Optional hands-on supplemental learning experiences on topics such as budgeting, SRBI/RTI case management, and PPT facilitation.
  • Optional career planning workshops on resume development, screening preparation, and mock interviews.