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Summer Principals Academy NOLA
Teachers College, Columbia University
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in New Orleans

About SPA > Benefits of SPA

Benefits of SPA

The Columbia University Difference

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. 

No Opportunity Cost

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. 

The Guiding Framework for Instruction

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.