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Salem offers in-depth training in some of today's most popular career fields.

Certificate in Education Leadership

Experienced West Virginia educators who are ready to pursue leadership roles within their schools or school districts need to qualify for licensure as principals, administrators, or superintendents. Those who already hold an education-related master’s degree can meet licensure requirements with help from Salem International University.

We offer a Graduate Certificate in Education Leadership that offers practical skills and knowledge necessary to make a larger impact on schools and school districts. This program is based at our West Virginia campus, but includes online coursework for additional flexibility and convenience. It features an accelerated course format that can be completed in as little as twelve months.

After completion of the program, candidates will be eligible for West Virginia certification as Pre K-12 Principals, Supervisor of Instructions, or Superintendents. Students who wish to obtain certification in other states should confirm requirements with their respective boards of education.

Objectives of This Program

The Certificate in Education Leadership consists of eight courses designed to help educators develop the knowledge they need to lead a school’s finances, community outreach, instruction, and community-building endeavors. Strategies for directing and motivating all stakeholders in the success of the school are emphasized.

After completing this certificate, students have one year to make arrangements to finalize their certification as a principal.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program can gain the certification they need to become:

  • K-12 Principals in West Virginia
  • District administrators in West Virginia

Program of Study

This program develops leadership skills and practical strategies for directing the educational mission of a school or school district.

Required Courses:

  • EDU640 Public School Finance and Administrative Applications
  • EDU652 School, District, and Community Leadership
  • EDU664 Professional Practices of the Principal
  • EDU670 Instructional Leadership
  • EDU674 Professional Practices of the District Supervisor
  • EDU680 School Law and Administrative Applications
  • EDU684 Professional Practices of the Superintendent
  • EDU691 Technology Competencies for Educational Leaders

It takes two and a half consecutive academic semesters of 12 semester credit hours each or 3 credit hours per month to complete the program—12 months in total.

Leadership candidates will be eligible for West Virginia licensure/certification after successfully completing all required coursework, the Evaluation Leadership Institute (ELI) offered by the West Virginia Center for Professional Development, and achieving the state-required score on Praxis II® Test 0411. Other requirements may apply; please contact the West Virginia Board of Education for more details.

Course Format

The Certificate in Education Leadership is offered at Salem International University’s home campus in West Virginia. Course work is completed online. The accelerated program can be completed in as little as twelve months.

Courses are structured to work with full-time employment, allowing students to complete their qualification without compromising other responsibilities.

Course Descriptions

EDU640 – Public School Finance and Administrative Applications (3)
This course is designed to provide students with the skills necessary for effective school business leadership. The course addresses the concepts of school finance including the economics of public education, issues of equity, sources of revenue, types of expenditures, court cases related to school funding, the development of school finance systems, and administering the school budget as well as the local, state, and federal roles in the school funding process. Students will apply concepts and policies to real situations using case studies and field experiences to demonstrate the skills needed to administer and manage educational programs and finances at various programmatic levels.

EDU652 – School, District, and Community Leadership (3)
This course focuses on the skills necessary for 21st Century administrators to work effectively with diverse educational stakeholders. The skills will include being able to collaborate and develop teamwork; assess and evaluate faculty and staff; resolve conflict; create and maintain positive work environments that support learning; establish staff development priorities; developing and implementing a strategic plans; use communication and technology skills effectively; define goals and objectives; global awareness; and manage the change process to achieve efficiency and effectiveness for the 21st Century.

It will provide students with the opportunities to study concepts of school, district, and community culture and explore the resources for school program enhancement. It will focus on evaluation of communication structures that develop between school districts and community, e.g., media, community involvement in schools and forces of leadership. EDU 652 includes 30 hours of fieldwork (15 building and 15 district) to support course activities.

EDU664 – Professional Practices of the Principal (4)
The goal of this clinical experience is to provide the prospective school administrator with the skills and proficiencies necessary to administer and manage public school programs PreK-Adult. The intern will spend a minimum of 140 clock hours engaged activities appropriate to school building leadership embedded within the field experiences of the internship. The field experiences consist of 6 mandated projects aligned with the Elements of the ELCC (2011) Standards for school building leadership. Activities can include any other requirements negotiated between the intern and the site supervisor. An action research project is required to facilitate the practice of data-based decisions to support the work of a building principal with an ultimate goal of helping all students learn. Candidates will develop an electronic portfolio built upon the 6 projects with summaries demonstrating performance of the building level ELCC Standards.

EDU670 – Instructional Leadership (3)
This course focuses on development of skills in instructional leadership including: recognizing and utilizing research-based best practices, the role of standards and assessment at the school and district level, and the development and implementation of professional development and staff evaluation processes to support learning for all students. Emphasis is placed on regular and special needs students, learning styles, special education regulations, and West Virginia’s Content Standards and Objectives (CSO). Design of staff development activities and evaluation of instructional resources and technology for education also are emphasized. EDU 670 includes 30 hours of fieldwork (15 building and 15 district) to support course activities.

EDU680 – School Law and Administrative Applications (3)
This course provides the prospective educational leader with a foundation in school law and the skills necessary to administer and manage a school or district. Topics include student and teacher rights, issues of due process, religious issues in schools, personnel and contracts, persons with disabilities, First Amendment rights, liability and torts, supervision, legislative processes, and related matters. Students will apply concepts and policies to real situations using case studies and field experiences to demonstrate the skills needed to administer and manage educational programs fairly, ethically, equitably, and legally. EDU 680 includes 20 hours of building level fieldwork to support course activities. (Cross-listed as SPE680.)

EDU684 – Professional Practices of the Superintendent (4)
The goal of this clinical experience is to provide the prospective administrator with the skills and proficiencies necessary for leadership within a PreK-12 school district in the role of the superintendent. The intern will spend a minimum of 100 clock hours in activities appropriate to school district management embedded within the field experiences of the internship. The field experiences of the internship consist of six mandated projects aligned with the Elements of the ELCC (2011) Standards for school district leadership. Activities can include any other requirements negotiated between the intern and the site supervisor. An action research project is required to facilitate the practice of data-based decisions to support the work of a district superintendent with an ultimate goal of helping all students learn. Candidates will develop an electronic portfolio built upon the six projects with summaries and an action research project demonstrating performance of the building level ELCC Standards.

EDU691 – Technology Competencies for Educational Leaders (3)
This course, based on ISTE’s National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators, aims to improve the technology competencies of future educational leaders and to prepare them to be more efficient practitioners and facilitators of 21st century learning. It addresses areas such as technology competences for administrators, technology planning, productivity tools, technology-enhanced learning environments, school administration systems, communication tools, and appropriate use of technology. EDU 691 includes 30 hours of fieldwork (15 building and 15 district) to support course activities.

Overview of Admission Requirements

Applicants to the the Certificate in Educational Leadership must prove that they:

  • Have earned an undergraduate degree in education and have a valid teaching certificate
  • Have earned an undergraduate degree in education with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Have earned a master of education degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Hold a valid teaching certificate
  • Have access to appropriate Field Work settings

Additional requirements may apply. Please contact us for complete details.

Lead Your School – Study with Salem

Ready to advance your school or school district? Talk to an admissions advisor for more information about our Certificate in Education Leadership today.

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