Superintendent Certification Program


The University of Louisville’s Superintendent Certification Program is designed to be a cohort-based program meeting the requirements of the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) for superintendent certification. This program provides each candidate with experiences allowing for comprehensive exposure to the relevant and essential performance standards facing the contemporary superintendent.

The Superintendent certification program was designed by full-time faculty at the University of Louisville’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) within the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, and Organizational Development (ELEOD). Also working in the design process were practitioners in the field, including current superintendents and assistant superintendents, as well as representation from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), and the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (OVEC).

Alternative Route to Superintendent Certification Program

The alternative route program allows school districts to consider the best candidates for positions of superintendent or assistant superintendent, including candidates who have not yet completed the superintendent certification requirements.

Alternative Route Admission

  • A letter from the employing district signed by the superintendent (in case of an assistant superintendent) or the board chairperson (in the case of a superintendent) must be sent to the program contact indicating the desire to employ the named candidate and requesting the named candidate to be admitted to the Alternative Route to Superintendent Certification program.
  • The candidate must submit an application for admission that includes all requested information pertaining to education and experience.
  • The department admissions committee will review the request and application and determine if the candidate is eligible for admission, and what, if any, additional requirements must be met.
  • If admitted, the candidate is eligible to be considered for a position as superintendent or assistant superintendent and will receive a letter of good standing for employment purposes.
  • If employed, the candidate is eligible for a two-year, Temporary Provisional Certificate for Superintendent. The candidate must submit a signed TC-TP to the Education Advising and Student Services Office, (College of Education building, room 140), for processing.
  • The candidate has two years to complete all remaining program requirements. Upon completion, the candidate is eligible for a standard certificate.

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ELFH 639: The School Superintendency

ELFH 649: School System Administration

ELFH 667 Instructional Planning for Student Learning and Achievement

ELFH 679: The Superintendency Practicum

Course Descriptions

ELFH 639: The School Superintendency<
This course focuses on the responsibilities of the school district superintendent with an emphasis on managerial leadership, including strategic planning, district budget, human resources management, facilities, communication, policy management, and legal issues. Students must be admitted to the Superintendent Certification Program prior to enrollment.

ELFH 649: School System Administration<
This course focuses on the responsibilities of the school district superintendent, with an emphasis on the development and growth of the superintendency student in the area of leadership as it relates to continuous district improvement. Students must have applied to the Superintendent Certification Program prior to enrollment.

ELFH 667 Instructional Planning for Student Learning and Achievement Focuses on the responsibilities of the school district superintendent as they relate to improving student achievement through instructional leadership including Board policy, Professional Learning Communities, academic and emotional support systems, monitoring systems of instruction, professional development, personalized learning, engagement with parents and community, and a focus on equity.

ELFH 679: The Superintendency Practicum<
This course requires the students to further explore the multiple dimensions of the superintendency, including responsibilities related to culturally responsive leadership, external development leadership, and micropolitical leadership. This is the final course in the four-course sequence leading to certification as superintendent. This course is designed as a clinical practicum with the majority of time spent working in a school district with the mentoring superintendent on the culminating capstone experience.

Program and Certification Completion Requirements

  • A grade point average of 3.0 in all courses counted on this program.
  • Successful completion of a portfolio. Information about the portfolio is found in "Guidelines for Portfolio Completion Requirements," available from your advisor.
  • Successful completion of an additional two years of experience in an approved school leadership position (e.g. principal, supervisor, counselor).

How to Apply

    • Applicants must submit an online application to UofL's School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (non-refundable application fee is required). Please note that applicants must apply as a Graduate, Non-degree seeking students, and select “Education Administration – Non-Degree” as the appropriate plan.
    • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. A 3.2 grade point average in the master's degree is required.

      Please have transcripts sent to:
      School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
      University of Louisville
      Louisville, KY 40292

      If transcripts are sent electronically,
      please have them sent to the following e-mail: gradadm @

    • Two professional letters of recommendation. Please list the email addresses for two recommenders in the online application. Recommenders will receive instructions and forms that they will complete online.
    • Application must also include:
    • Completion of Levels I and II for principal or supervisor of instruction certification (unless completed under pr-1988 regulations.)
    • Professional certification including a minimum of two years of experience in the position of school principal, supervisor of instruction, guidance counselor, director of pupil personnel, director of special education, school business administrator, local district coordinator of vocational education, or a coordinator, administrator, or supervisor of district-wide services. Other administrative experience may be substituted for this requirement with the approval of the Education Professional Standards Board.
    • Interview with program coordinator.

Please Note: Meeting the minimum admission standard for GPA and GRE scores does not guarantee admission.

Please contact Betty Hampton, Director of Graduate Student Services for the College of Education and Human Development, at if you have any questions about the application process.


Deborah Powers, Ed.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, & Organizational Development
The University of Louisville
1905 South 1st Street
Porter Building, Room 369
Louisville, Kentucky 40292
(502) 852-6428

Opportunities for Graduates

District-level Educational Leadership Positions (e.g., superintendent, assistant superintendent)

Financial Aid

For general information on financial aid resources, please visit the University of Louisville's Student Financial Aid Office web site.

The CEHD has its own web pages dedicated to financial aid that contains some extra information not listed here.

CEHD Scholarships

The CEHD has a long history of offering scholarships to prospective and current students pursuing an education degree program. The CEHD provides over $225,000 annually and selects recipients three times a year. Scholarship selection is competitive and applies to tuition only. Apply online for a CEHD scholarship before the deadline (March 1st, June 1st and/or October 1st). Applicants should expect notification four to five weeks after the posted deadline.

Supervising and Resource Teachers

In recognition of valuable service to the preparation of teachers and the need for all teachers to have continual professional growth, a supervising teacher or a resource teacher for teacher interns may, with prior approval of the course-offering institution, take a maximum of six (6) credit hours per term at any public postsecondary institution and pay no tuition. The postsecondary institution shall waive the tuition up to a maximum of six (6) credit hours.

To apply, you must complete the Tuition Waiver Certification for Supervising and Resource Teachers Application [PDF]. It should be completed by the supervising teacher, certified by their principal, and returned to our office. Return the form to the Student Financial Aid Office at U of L, attention: Wesley Partin.

Eligibility: 6 credit hours of tuition benefits for each semester served as a full responsibility supervising or resource teacher, or 3 credit hours of tuition benefits for each semester served as a shared supervising or resource teacher. Students may exercise the tuition waiver option up to twelve months following the assignment. Tuition benefits are paid directly to the University of Louisville.