The Summer Principals Academy is a transformative graduate program committed to developing school leaders and promoting equity and excellence in education through an enriching, hands-on curriculum and administrative internships. Our rich, adaptive cohort learning environment allows you to earn your M.A. or Ed.M. over two consecutive five-week summer sessions while continuing to work in your current position. We also have a sister program in New York.
Students gain valuable experience engaging in an internship as well as utilize skills from classes to carry out a final project addressing the challenges that students in public schools today face.
The Master of Arts (M.A.) pathway for student leaders who wish to become principals but do not have 24 previously earned graduate credits.
The Master of Education (Ed.M.) program is for aspiring principals who have a minimum of 24 credits of previously earned graduate work.
MARION, AL – November 2020 – After receiving the highest external evaluation score of the 2020 cycle, Mr. Darren Ramalho, a 2019 Alumni of Summer Principals Academy (SPA) at Teachers College Columbia University, received notice that his application for Breakthrough Charter School had been approved by the Alabama Public Charter School Commission and was on its way to becoming a reality. After transitioning out of the classroom in 2019, Ramalho fundraised nearly two million dollars for his dream of improving Alabama public schools with support from numerous local organizations in Perry County.
New Orleans, L.A. – November 2020 – Brittany Brooks, Deontré Clayton, and Courtney Green-Calhoun have been selected as the first-ever recipients of the Kenan Charitable Trust Scholarship. The KCT Scholarship at Summer Principals Academy | New Orleans (SPA|NOLA) is made possible by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, which serves to promote the importance of education and provides grants in the areas of education, arts, and arts education. Due to the generosity of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, Teachers College Columbia University prides itself on extending scholarship offers to aspiring school leaders in financial support of their attendance to SPA|NOLA.
I got to engage in many hands-on projects like making a three-year budget forecast in my resource allocation class, role playing to demonstrate effective mentoring in a school environment, and using data in simulations and exercises to determine the productivity of a school. These experiences pushed me to think like a school leader and to use my creativity and problem-solving skills to tackle real-life challenges
Through the Summer Principals Academy, I received the opportunity to take many interesting classes that have proved to be helpful in my current career as an assistant principal. The classes challenged my traditional notion on problem solving, decision making, and school community relationships through hands-on, collaborative classes.
Through my internship, I analyzed the curriculum at my school, creating an action plan to address any weaknesses in the curriculum. This analysis helped me to continue honing my leadership skills as well as refining my observation, research, presentation, and synthesis skills, all skills an effective school leader should have.
I received the opportunity to listen to many guest speakers through my leadership in education seminar course, including researchers and policy makers from academia and school districts. They not only shared their insights and experience on effective leadership practices, but also helped me grow both professionally and personally.
During my 450-hour Administrative Internship, I shadowed three different principals to explore their differing leadership styles while creating and defining my own. I was able to gain an inside look at how to become an effective school leader as well as how to build a healthy, safe, and engaging learning environment.
I was able to build strong relationships with my cohort that go far beyond the classroom. They say that principalship can be lonely, but with the amazing network SPA affords, I know that my cohort and those before us are just one call or flight away.
For the New School Design Project, I was placed in a group of peers with varying strengths, who challenged and supported me as we created our ideal school with inspiring initiatives and which tackled the achievement gap. This is a project that I am sure to look back on to draw ideas from during my actual job