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Lead School Systems for Meaningful Education Reform

The Graduate Certificate Executive Leadership: Superintendent Certification program at City University of Seattle gives professional educators the necessary skills and experience to become highly capable and knowledgeable superintendents. Through a mix of coursework, an internship, and an internship project, you’ll learn how to lead school systems according to state and national standards.Graduates develop the critical thinking and negotiation skills needed to be effective leaders who can develop and sustain meaningful education reform. The superintendent certification program courses are available online, so you can study on your own schedule. The program can be completed in five quarters to complete, usually starting and ending in the summer quarter.

Upon successful completion of this certificate program, you will meet the leadership standards set by Washington State which uses NELP (National Educational Leadership Preparation) standards and be recommended for the superintendent certificate to the

Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

This online program has been developed by and for educators, and consists of three strands:

  • Internship: You’ll be supported in this internship with a CityU field supervisor and field-based mentor, and you are required to design and implement your internship project in your classroom.
  • Building a Portfolio: You’ll develop an online portfolio on Blackboard, which consists of multiple pieces of evidence that demonstrate you have the understanding and competency to administer to the Washington State Benchmark Standards.
  • Capstone Presentation: You’ll complete a presentation, which will provide evidence of how you have achieved professional competence across all standards.

Why This Program is Unique

This program prepares candidates to meet leadership standards set by Washington State which uses NELP (National Educational Leadership Preparation) standards and be recommended for the superintendent certificate to the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

  • 100% online superintendent certification program
  • Rolling admission allows you to begin the program at any quarter
  • Non-Certificate and Out of State Students - This program is available to students who seek graduate coursework and executive-level internship experience but do not need the Washington state certification. Some superintendent candidates also may simultaneously pursue the Program Administrator certificate while completing course requirements.
  • Our faculty of experienced administrators coach candidates throughout the program, offering standards-based feedback for a performance-based certification portfolio.
  • Graduates can choose to continue their formal education and may apply coursework to the Ed.D. or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees at CityU.

Total Required Credits (30 Credits)

For full course descriptions please visit the 2020–2021 Course Catalog. 

Block 1 - Visionary and Strategic Leadership (7 Credits)

EDLD 649 Executive Academy for Visionary Leadership and Educational Reform (5)

EDLD 670 Entry and pre-Assessment Seminar (2) OR EDLD 680 Pre-Internship Assessment and Assessment Seminar (2)

Block 2 - Instructional Leadership (6 Credits)

EDLD 641 Reflective Seminar I (1)

EDLD 681 Internship I (2)

EDLD 652 Advanced Seminar in Supervision and Instructional Leadership (3) OR EDLD 671 Practicum I (1), EDLD 672 Practicum II (1), and EDLD 673 Practicum III (1)

Block 3 - Organizational Leadership (6 Credits)

EDLD 642 Reflective Seminar II (1)

EDLD 654 Organizational Leadership and Resource Management (3)

EDLD 682 Internship II (2)

Block 4 - Political and Community Leadership (6 Credits)

EDLD 643 Reflective Seminar III (1)

EDLD 656 Policy, Governance and Community (3)

EDLD 683 Internship III (2)

Block 5 - 21st Century Educational Leadership (5 Credits)

EDLD 659 Executive Academy in Transformational Leadership (4)

EDLD 674 Culminating Seminar (1) OR EDLD 684 Culminating Seminar and Certification Portfolio Presentation (1)

Upon completion of the program, you’ll achieve superintendent certification by demonstrating proficiency in the standards set by the Professional Educator Standards Board based on the Interstate School Leadership Licensure Consortium.Those who have a master’s degree, but not educator certification, should contact an advisor if they have an interest in educational leadership. This program can be personalized to transfer skills from other contexts to education.

Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.

Tuition Cost

Learn more about tuition and fees for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At CityU, we’re committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter their economic situations. Our financial aid counselors are here to find the resources you need to pay for your education, including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at CityU, or contact our Financial Aid Team at 800.426.5596, 206.239.4540, or finaid@cityu.edu.

Military Tuition Benefits

As a Yellow Ribbon school, CityU is proud to serve those who have served in the military. We offer military tuition discounts for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses and accept military benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance.

Learn more about military tuition benefits, VA benefits, and military partnership programs designed to help you reach your military and career goals.


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Founded in 1973, City University of Seattle offers over 60 on-site and online programs designed for busy working adults like you. When you enroll at CityU, you’ll have the support of a community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are dedicated to helping you finish your degree and reach your goals.


CityU is recognized as a Top 10 educator of adults nationwide.1 In fact, students complete their degrees at twice the national rate.2


Develop marketable, real-world skills in courses taught by faculty who are practitioners working in your field.


Expand your expertise and your global perspectives in on-site and online courses with students from around the world.


Network with alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies, including Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft.