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Summer Principals Academy NYC
Teachers College, Columbia University
teachers college logo columbia univertsity logo

in New York City

About SPA > Benefits of SPA

Benefits of SPA





Students graduate from the Summer Principals Academy, not only with New York State School Building Leader certification, but also a master’s degree from Columbia University.  Columbia University’s reputation for rigor, its insistence on accepting only highly motivated and qualified applicants, and its renowned history have resulted in a well-deserved reputation for excellence.  Teachers College ranks consistently in the top three graduate schools of education in the nation by US News and World Report. 




Students enrolled in the Summer Principals Academy remain employed full-time at their sponsoring schools and complete a 450-hour supervised administrative internship during the intervening academic year.  The summer format allows teacher-leaders to engage in intensive academic study and leadership training without taking a leave of absence from their schools, thereby foregoing a year of salary.  Additionally, unlike many part-time administrative program, which can take up to three years to complete, graduates of SPA earn their master’s degree and School Building Leader certification in just 14 months. 

PLEASE NOTE: Students should refer to their own state's unique requirements to determine any additional steps or testing requirements for administrative certification.




The SPA curriculum framework is the result of intensive research in educational leadership and leading edge practices in effective school leadership that highlight strategies developed to employ and implement instructional approaches that drive school improvement and student achievement.  The framework consists of four competency clusters and 28 associated competencies, which are embedded within each of the courses taken throughout the 14-month program.



The 28 competencies, organized into 4 competency clusters, which make up the SPA Framework, and represent critical leadership capabilities for the 21st century:

Leadership Competencies
    External scanning & stakeholder analysis
    Vision & mission
    Strategic analysis & execution
    Cultural competency & diversity training
    Organizational change
    Negotiation & conflict resolution

Managerial Competencies
    Finance & budgeting
    Law & ethics
    Human resources
    Labor relations
    Facilities, safety & health
    Technology & information systems

Pedagogical Philosophy
    Educational research & evaluation
    Curriculum design & analysis
    Program development & implementation
    Testing & student achievement
    Monitoring & accountability

Adult Professional Development
    Adult learning theory
    Strategic learning & knowledge transfer
    Succession planning & mentoring
    Team building & development
    Staff development
    Teacher supervision