SIXTH YEAR CERTIFICATE
The Sixth Year Professional Certificate is a post-masters degree program for experienced teachers seeking Connecticut’s 092 or Intermediate Administrator/Supervisor Certificate. It is designed to enable candidates to shape organizational direction; effect institutional planning and development; and influence organizational performance. Notable features of the program include rigorous entry standards; a strong curriculum presented by resident faculty and practitioner colleagues; a qualifying examination for certification; and required field experiences. Our course of study exceeds the minimum requirements established by the State of Connecticut for certification.
Related Career Goals
The sixth-year certificate program meets the needs of educators who seek to acquire advanced career and professional development, and the leadership skills and credentials necessary to function effectively in preK-12 school settings under the Intermediate Administrator/Supervisor Certificate. Graduates of the program who are certified as intermediate administrators or supervisors will be eligible for such positions as elementary or secondary principal/assistant principal, program coordinator, department head, and for positions on the staffs of central offices (through the level of assistant superintendent), regional educational agencies, and the state Department of Education.
Conceptual Framework, Standards, and Program Design
The CCSU theme and conceptual framework for programs, “Preparing Leaders to Serve Their Communities”, identifies three roles of the education professional: active learner, facilitator of learning for all students, and reflective and collaborative practitioner. The department's conceptual framework and outcomes for the educational leadership program have emerged from the CCSU conceptual framework, and from our understanding of several core documents: Common Core of Leading: CT Standards for School Leaders (Connecticut State Department of Education, 2012), ELCC Standards (2011), Defining Effective Leadership for Connecticut’s Schools (Leithwood and Duke, 1997), and Principals for our Changing Schools (National Policy Board for Educational Administrators). As such, the work we do derives from several areas of research: transformational school leadership, leadership and school restructuring, leadership and effects on learning for all students, and the literature of organizational learning. In addition, we have added our own distinctive concerns about the preparation of leaders for diverse and multicultural environments.
The sixth year program is nationally accredited (NCATE/Educational Leadership Constituents Council) and is designed to meet Standards for Advanced Programs in Educational Leadership published by the National Policy Board for Educational Administrators. These standards are listed below:
ELCC Standards (Educational Leadership Constituent Council)
- A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by collaboratively facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a shared school vision of learning through the collection and use of data to identify school goals, assess organizational effectiveness, and implement school plans to achieve school goals; promotion of continual and sustainable school improvement; and evaluation of school progress and revision of school plans supported by school-based stakeholders.
- A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning through collaboration, trust, and a personalized learning environment with high expectations for students; creating and evaluating a comprehensive, rigorous and coherent curricular and instructional school program; developing and supervising the instructional and leadership capacity of school staff; and promoting the most effective and appropriate technologies to support teaching and learning within a school environment.
- A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by ensuring the management of the school organization, operation, and resources through monitoring and evaluating the school management and operational systems; efficiently using human, fiscal, and technological resources in a school environment; promoting and protecting the welfare and safety of school students and staff; developing school capacity for distributed leadership; and ensuring that teacher and organizational time is focused.
- A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by collaborating with faculty and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources on behalf of the school by collecting and analyzing information pertinent to improvement of the school’s educational environment; promoting an understanding, appreciation, and use of the diverse cultural, social, and intellectual resources within the school community; building and sustaining positive school relationships with families and caregivers; and cultivating productive school relationships with community partners.
- A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner to ensure a school system of accountability for every student’s academic and social success by modeling school principles of self-awareness, reflective practice, transparency, and ethical behavior as related to their roles within the school; safeguarding the values of democracy, equity, and diversity within the school; evaluating the potential moral and legal consequences of decision making in the school; and promoting social justice within the school to ensure that individual student needs inform all aspects of schooling.
A building-level education leader applies knowledge that promotes the success of every student by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context through advocating for school students, families, and caregivers; acting to influence local, district, state, and national decisions affecting student learning in a school environment; and anticipating and assessing emerging trends and initiatives in order to adapt school-based leadership strategies.
The internship provides significant opportunities for candidates to synthesize and apply the knowledge and practice and develop the skills identified in Standards 1-6 through substantial, sustained, standards-based work in real settings, planned and guided cooperatively by the institution and school district personnel for graduate credit.
- The program also responds to Common Core of Leading: Connecticut School Leadership Standards (2012), which are listed below:
PERFORMANCE EXPECTATION 1: Vision, Mission, and Goals-Education leaders ensure the success and achievement of all students by guiding the development and implementation of a shared vision of learning, a strong organizational mission, and high expectations for student performance.
PERFORMANCE EXPECTATION 2: Teaching and Learning-Education leaders ensure the success and achievement of all students by monitoring and continuously improving teaching and learning.
PERFORMANCE EXPECTATION 3: Organizational Systems and Safety-Education leaders ensure the success and achievement of all students by managing organizational systems and resources for a safe, high-performing learning environment.
PERFORMANCE EXPECTATION 4: Families and Stakeholders-Education leaders ensure the success and achievement of all students by collaborating with families and other stakeholders to respond to diverse community interests and needs and to mobilize community resources.
PERFORMANCE EXPECTATION 5: Ethics and Integrity-Education leaders ensure the success and achievement of all students and staff by modeling ethical behavior and integrity.
PERFORMANCE EXPECTATION 6: The Education System-Education leaders ensure the success and achievement of all students and advocate for their students, faculty and staff needs by influencing social, cultural, economic, legal, and political contexts affecting education.
Finally, throughout the program students are expected to develop and enhance their skills in fourteen specific areas. The first twelve are the standards of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP); the last two are important focal areas of CCSU’s sixth year program. When candidates write about activities throughout their program, they should reflect about their growth and learning in these skill areas. Candidate performance throughout the program should reflect progress in developing the 14 skills. These are illustrated in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Leadership Skill Areas
- Problem analysis. Ability to seek out relevant data and analyze complex information to determine the important elements of a problem situation; searching for information with a purpose.
- Judgment. Ability to reach logical conclusions and make high quality decisions based on available information; skill in identifying educational needs and setting priorities; ability to evaluate critically written communications.
- Organizational ability. Ability to plan, schedule and control the work of others; skill in using resources in an optimal fashion; ability to deal with a volume of paperwork and heavy demands on one’s time.
- Decisiveness. Ability to recognize when a decision is required and to act quickly and appropriately.
- Leadership. Ability to get others involved in solving problems; ability to recognize when a group requires direction, to interact with a group effectively and to guide them to the accomplishment of a task.
- Sensitivity. Ability to perceive the needs, concerns, and personal problems of others; skill in conflicts, tact in dealing with persons from different backgrounds; ability to deal effectively with people concerning emotional issues; knowing what information to communicate and to whom.
- Stress tolerance. Ability to perform under pressure and during opposition; ability to think on one’s feet.
- Oral communications. Ability to make a clear oral presentation of facts and ideas.
- Written communications. Ability to express ideas clearly in writing and to write appropriately for different audiences students, parents, teachers, etc.
- Range of interest. Competence to discuss issues related to education, politics, current events, economics, finance, etc.; desire to participate actively in events.
- Personal motivation. Need to achieve in all activities attempted; evidence that work is important to personal satisfaction; ability to be self-policing.
- Educational values. Possession of a well-reasoned educational philosophy; receptiveness to new ideas and change.
- Leading for learning. Ability to focus all attention on student learning.
- Multicultural awareness. Sensitivity to diversity and equity in education.
Throughout the program, students are expected to reflect regularly and deeply about their knowledge and understanding of, skill development in, and dispositions toward the ELCC Standards (2011), the Common Core of Leading: Connecticut Leader Standards (2012), and the fourteen specific NASSP skill areas. This type of reflection is a critical component of the program and incorporated into all courses. Students must clearly demonstrate their growth in these areas in order to progress through and graduate from the program.
Admissions Standards and Requirements
Admission to this program is limited and highly competitive. The department accepts applications for the spring and fall semesters only.
All application and supporting materials for admission to the program must be received by April 1 for students taking EDL 590 in the summer and by November 1 for students taking EDL 590 in the spring. Admission to the Sixth-Year Program will be based on the following criteria:
- A master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
- Attained a 3.00 minimum post-baccalaureate cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a four-point scale or its equivalent. Students' with a 3.3 or higher post-baccalaureate GPA (on a four-point scale) will receive first priority for admission into the program.
- A minimum of three years teaching experience and possess, or be eligible for a Connecticut teaching certificate. (Applicants who do not hold a certificated issued by Connecticut State Department of Education must also pass Praxis I.)
- Two letters of recommendation from school administrators.
- A formal essay that focuses which as two focal points a) the reasons that led the candidate to be area of school leadership, and b) future career goals.
Interviews will be held in November/December and April/May. Decisions will be communicated to applicants by the end of the current semester.
The Sixth-Year Certificate Program in Educational Leadership, including recommendation for certification for the Intermediate Administrator/Supervisor, requires a minium of 30 credits. Requirements-27 credits of professional core and 3 credits of advisor-approved electives. If students have not taken a special education course, they must enroll in SPED 501 for their elective.
Once admitted to the program, a sixth year candidate is assigned an advisor who is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership. The student must contact the advisor soon after acceptance to set a time for meeting and developing a Planned Program of Study. In the appendices we have provided the Graduate School forms used to document requirements and assess that each graduate has completed the planned program. This form must be signed by the student, the advisor, and the Dean of the Graduate School in order for the student to take more than one class.
Program of Studies
The degree program leading to intermediate level certification is a 30 credit hour program and is designed to scaffold learning opportunities for students. These learning opportunities include both courses and an internship portfolio.
Figure 4. Courses for the Sixth Year Certification Program
- EDL 590 (3 credits)
- EDL 605 and EDL 606 Leadership for Teaching and Learning I & II (6 credits)
- EDL 610 and EDL 611 School Leadership I & II(6 credits)
- EDL 615 and EDL 616 Understanding External Environments of School Leadership I & II (6 credits)
- EDL 690-691-692 Internship in Educational Leadership (6 credits)
- Leader Portfolio-submitted at the end of the internship
- Electives (3 credits) Students must enroll in SPED 501 if they have not taken a special education course.
EDL 605 and 606, EDL 610 and 611, and EDL 615 and 616 are designed to be taken in pairs. Each pair of courses is taken as two semester-long courses at 3 credits each. Students may also fulfill their electives requirements with coursework from other subject areas such as special education, educational foundations, reading, math, and bilingual education.
Performance Assessment Embedded in Courses: As a program and a department, we are committed to authentic and other forms of performance assessment. Assessment strategies used across courses include rubrics, rating forms, simulations, role playing, and applications of knowledge gained in courses to authentic projects such as grant-writing, evaluation studies, and action research.
Connecticut Administrator Test
All candidates seeking administrative certification must pass the Connecticut Administrator Test (CAT), which consists of two school improvement case studies (three hours) and two instructional analysis and teacher support exercises (three and one-half hours). Candidates register to take this test through the Connecticut State Department of Education. Students may begin taking modules of the CAT as they are ready at any time during the program of studies but must pass all modules prior to receiving institutional recommendation.
Recommendation for Certification
Recommendation for certification occurs when students have completed all courses required in the planned program with a grade of B or better, passed the qualifying examination, satisfactorily completed the internship and passed the internship portfolio. In addition, Connecticut certification requires a course in special education that addresses exceptionalities (included giftedness) and inclusion and, for people who earned initial certification out of state, Praxis I (a test of basic skills). The department chair or designee recommends candidates to the School of Education and Professional Studies certification coordinator who in turn makes recommendations to the state.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Students are expected to:
- maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average
- demonstrate educational leadership competencies, as defined by the standards that support the program, throughout the coursework and benchmark assessments
- Advisors are expected to:
- be accessible during office advising hours
- work with the student to develop the Planned Program of Study
- monitor student progress, including issues related to incompletes in courses
- confer regularly with the department chair about student progress