May 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Educational Leadership School Superintendent Certification

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Ginger Blackwell, Ed.D., Graduate Program Director


The Northern Kentucky University Superintendent Preparation program aligns courses with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL 2018) as well as the Standards of 21st Century Skills (e.g. creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, leadership and responsibility), Dispositions, Dimensions and Functions of the Kentucky Cohesive Leadership System, and addresses college and career readiness. The Next Generation Effectiveness Standards for Kentucky School Superintendents has also been used as a resource. A matrix has been developed that aligns the standards, skills, and field experiences to each course required in the preparation program.

Contact Information

Educational Leadership Graduate Office - MEP 295 or 859- 572-7892

Admission Requirements

Individuals applying must meet all requirements for admission to graduate study at Northern Kentucky University as defined by the Graduate Catalog at the time of application in addition to the following criteria.

To be eligible for admission applicants must have:

  1. A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, with a total cumulative graduate grade point average of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  2. A current Kentucky Rank II or Rank I teaching certificate or out-of-state equivalent.
  3. Three (3) years full-time teaching experience.
  4. Two (2) years or more full-time experience in one or more of the following positions: Elementary, Middle, or High School Principal; Supervisor of Instruction; Guidance Counselor; Director of Pupil Personnel; Director of Special Education; School Business Administrator; Coordinator/Administrator/Supervisor of District Services; Local District Coordinator of Vocational Education.
  5. Level I and II certification for any one of the following positions: Elementary Principal (grades P-4); Middle School Principal (grades 5-8); Secondary School Principal (grades 9-12); School Principal (P-12); Supervisor of Instruction (P-12).

Application Process:

  1. Submit an online application and application fee to the Office of Graduate Education.
  2. Submit official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework sent directly from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
  3. Submit a copy of current Kentucky teaching certificate or out-of-state equivalent showing appropriate administrative certification level I and Level II.
  4. Submit evidence of three years of classroom experience and two years of administrative experience (see above).
  5. Two recommendations using the superintendent recommendation form and completed by educational associates who can attest to your potential success as a school leader. One letter must be from your current building principal or district supervisor. Letters must be made on superintendent recommendation form found on the website for superintendent certification or email  
  6. Superintendent supplemental application with six areas of administrative skills addressed by candidates in terms of best practices and in essay format.  Supplemental application form found on the website for superintendent certification or email
  7. Complete an interview with NKU leadership faculty and P-12 instructional leaders. *

*After a thorough review of the application materials, the admissions committee will select candidates to be interviewed. The interview may be with the candidate individually or in a group setting and will include the completion of an on-demand essay. The interview will seek evidence of knowledge of curriculum and assessment, leadership and management potential, and dispositions associated with effective leadership. The committee will review all available data to assess the overall potential of the candidate for success in the program before making a final decision about acceptance.

♦ Indicates prerequisite.


Curriculum Requirements

The program requirements for the Professional Certificate for School Leadership-School Superintendent include completion of a minimum of 12 course credit hours and must include the following courses or equivalent substitute courses as approved by the Department of Teacher Education and School Leadership:

Minimum Total Hours: 12

Additional Information

Certifications are not automatic and must be initiated by the student.  Forms and processes of application for certification from Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (KYEPSB) are subject to change. For the most current application forms or processes go to the KYEPSB website ( Contact the educational leadership graduate office for additional information on university recommendations for certification.

No Praxis Exams are required at this time for Superintendent Certification.

* Requirements and passing scores for teacher/educator certification are subject to change. For the most current PRAXIS II testing requirements, go to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board website ( If you are certified/licensed or requesting certification/licensure in another state please check with your licensure board for your state testing regulations.

Exit Requirements

The certification will be awarded to candidate upon:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all required coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  2. Completion of required coursework used for certificate with a C or higher.
  3. Satisfactory performance on the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL 2018).
  4. Minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  5. A CA-1 form must be submitted to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (KYEPSB) to apply for the certification. Contact the Educational Leadership Graduate Office at for questions on certification.

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