Assistant principals and principals interested in advancing their careers face a reality familiar to their students: going back to school. Navigating the path to superintendency doesn’t have to pose an additional mental burden for educational leaders, however. Becoming a superintendent is a straightforward process, so long as candidates enroll in a certification program that takes into account their needs and expectations.

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s online Superintendent Certification program is designed for principals and assistant principals who want to strengthen their skills as school leaders and promote the success of all students in their district. This 16-credit program is affordable, accredited, and online, but those descriptors alone might not give a clear idea of what it’s like in our virtual classroom.

Let’s take a look at our online Superintendent Certification program and the experiences principals and assistant principals can look forward to within it.

What Are the Learning Objectives?

UT Permian Basin’s Superintendent Certification program is composed of online courses, each of which includes a practicum component. Through coursework and practicum, graduate students learn how to build relationships with school boards, promote a shared vision, and oversee day-to-day operations within a district.

Learning objectives are designed to help students meet the exemplary leadership standards established by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and include:

  • Managing a district’s budget, personnel, and resources.
  • Fostering an appropriate, effective, and safe learning environment.
  • Responding to political, social, economic, and legal challenges.
  • Understanding the sociocultural influences on campus policies.

What’s It Like in Our Virtual Classroom?

Courses are delivered through Canvas, our learning management system. Here you’ll find everything you need for your courses, including lectures, discussion boards, and syllabi. (We don’t have to tell you how it important it is to read the syllabus.) All online coursework is asynchronous, meaning it can be completed where and when it’s convenient for you. Watch a lecture on your lunch break, or wait until the weekend to dive into an assignment. At UT Permian Basin, we leave it to you to decide the pace of your education.

Students in our virtual classrooms aren’t faceless strangers: They’re active participants. Responding to discussion posts, receiving professional feedback, and communicating with students are all integral parts of our program. After all, superintendents are multitalented leaders able to build professional relationships with every encounter.

The College of Education’s dedicated faculty, all of whom have experience as educational leaders, will also be there to advise and assist you on every step of your journey. Our professors are still in touch with many of their former students, and they always respond to emails promptly, usually within 24 hours.

Course Spotlight: Superintendency & the School Board

Over a period of eight weeks, students in our online course Superintendency & the School Board explore the complex relationship between superintendents and school boards, attending at least two school board meetings in the process. By the end of this course, students will have a deeper understanding of how to:

  • Respond to diverse community needs.
  • Work with board members to achieve a district’s vision.
  • Promote collaborative decision-making and problem-solving.
  • Nurture a district culture that’s conducive to professional development.

What’s the Practicum Experience Like?

UT Permian Basin’s online Superintendent Certification program is one of the only four-course programs in the state that maintains a practicum experience throughout. This combination of theoretical and practical instruction ensures graduates are prepared for the rigors of superintendency, even those who already have extensive experience as educational leaders. Here’s how it works:

Each course includes a 40-hour practicum (internship) component. Assignments incorporate field experiences that, depending on the course, entail collaborating with your superintendent. By working with a mentor, you’ll learn how superintendents conduct themselves while addressing district matters, whether planned or not. This is an opportunity to reflect on your growth as you work toward becoming a district leader.

What Is the Process for Earning a Superintendent Certification?

UT Permian Basin’s online Superintendency Certification program does not certify Texas superintendents. Rather, it helps principals and assistant principals meet the certification competencies required by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

If you’re a principal, you already meet most of TEA’s certification requirements, but assistant principals will have to submit a Superintendent Certification Application. Your next steps are to complete an approved superintendent educator preparation program, like ours, and pass the required exam. Although our program doesn’t specifically teach to the exam, the instruction delivered in our virtual classroom will prepare you nonetheless.

Within as little as two semesters, you can complete our program and gain the experience, knowledge, and skills needed to earn your superintendent certification.

Pursue Your Certification Through UT Permian Basin

UT Permian Basin’s online Superintendent Certification program offers a clear path to superintendency and, more importantly, provides graduates with the means to promote the success of all students within a district.

As a principal or assistant principal, you understand more than anyone how students, parents, and entire communities can be affected by a district’s policies. By becoming a superintendent, you can develop and propose new school policies to board members, promote a shared vision among stakeholders, and make sure everyone has a seat at the table, including your teachers and fellow educational leaders.

Ready to become a district leader? Apply now and find out for yourself how comprehensive and convenient our online Superintendent Certification program is.

Out-of-state candidates should contact Dr. Rodney Uzat to determine if UTPB’s online Superintendent Certification program will meet the requirements of their state.