Certificate in Superintendency/District Leadership

The superintendency/district leadership graduate certificate program provides an opportunity for potential candidates who currently hold a Kansas professional building leadership license to participate in advanced graduate training that leads to positions as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, or special education director, as well as other district-level positions required by school districts. The program allows enrolled candidates to complete the coursework online or in the traditional face-to-face format.

This program is not cohort-based and provides great flexibility in time and with instructional options. It can be completed in one year or over a longer period. Although most candidates begin their program in June; candidates may begin their classes, online or in person, at any time throughout the year (June, August, October, January, March). However, Graduate School admissions deadlines must still be met.


  • Application to the Graduate School (http://wichita.edu/gradschool).
  • Three recommendations from supervisors and/or professional peers of which at least one must be from a supervisor that attests to the applicant's potential as a district-level leader.
  • Evidence of a professional license in school building leadership.
  • A 500-word statement that discusses the applicant's leadership experience (formal/informal; professional/nonprofessional). The applicant must be specific as to his/her leadership experience detailing the goals and outcomes of the applicant's leadership experience. The statement of purpose will be analyzed for evidence of leadership ability and writing skill.

Program Requirements

The district program requires 15–21 credit hours.1

EL 884Leadership in Vision, Collaboration and Planning3
EL 953Financial Support of Education3
EL 956Human Services Leadership3
EL 963Policy and Politics in Educational Leadership3
EL 964Administration & Supervision of Special Education3
EL 992Superintendency/Internship 16
Total Credit Hours21

Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Summer SemesterCredit Hours
EL 953 Financial Support of Education 3
 Credit Hours3
Fall Semester
EL 884 Leadership in Vision, Collaboration and Planning 3
EL 956 Human Services Leadership 3
EL 992 Superintendency/Internship 1 3
 Credit Hours9
Spring Semester
EL 963 Policy and Politics in Educational Leadership 3
EL 964 Administration & Supervision of Special Education 3
EL 992 Superintendency/Internship 1 3
 Credit Hours9
 Total Credit Hours21

Applied Learning

Students in the Superintendency/District Leadership Certificate program are required to complete an applied learning or research experience to graduate from this program. The requirement can be met by completing two semesters of EL 992 Superintendency/Internship, or showing evidence of having completed the equivalent through work experience.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the prescribed coursework of five seminars and a year-long internship working with a practicing professional, candidates must take and submit a passing score on the School Superintendent Assessment (SSA). The SSA is based on standards adopted by the Kansas State Department of Education which include knowledge, performance, and dispositions necessary for a district-level school leadership position.

Once a candidate successfully completes all coursework and program requirements, the licensure office at Wichita State will assist the candidate with their request for licensure. Past coursework/experiences can possibly reduce the number of courses required to complete the program. 

Note: This certificate has not yet been approved as a gainful employment program.