SUNY Potsdam, Plattsburgh empower future school leaders through educational leadership collaboration

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POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — A new collaborative initiative is helping to empowr future school leaders.

SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh have launched a the Advanced Certificate in Educational Leadership to help prepare students for the New York State School Leadership Assessments, roles as school building and district leaders.

The initiative is currently working with its first cohort, training them partially online to prepare for these assessments. The program is helping to strengthen individuals to fulfill leadership positions in the North Country.

“COVID-19 has demonstrated the need for responsive and capable educational leaders,” said Thomas Burns, district superintendent for the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, which serves 18 North Country school districts. “As we experience staffing shortages in all instructional areas, and more retirees exit the profession, we need strong teachers and educators to consider school leadership.”

According to SUNY Potsdam, the leadership program was added to their already existing education-oriented trainings. Potsdam stated that “local school administrators say they were relieved that Potsdam stepped forward to fill a void left by the recent closure of a similar program at a neighboring university.”

The Advanced Certificate in Educational Leadership requires 36 credits of coursework, as well as two 75-day field practicums. Courses cover topics such as staff development, student learning and assessment, curriculum development, leadership, organizational change and financial management.

“These students will be coming to Potsdam this summer as they commence a weeklong summer institute focused on the principalship,” stated SUNY Potsdam School of Education and Professional Studies Dean Dr. Allen Grant. “We designed this nine-day learning experience as a hybrid, with face-to-face weekends and Mondays through Fridays online. With COVID-19, this will pivot to fully online. The summer institute will be taught by our outstanding leadership faculty, as well as active superintendents and principals-those with their feet on the ground at the school building level, with a practical focus that draws on both soft and hard leadership skills.”

The program has a rolling application deadline with spring, summer and fall start dates.

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