Benefits of SPA | NOLA

Benefits of SPA | NOLA

The Columbia University Difference

Students graduate from the Summer Principals Academy|New Orleans with either a Master's of Arts or a Master's of Education 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 ten graduate schools of education in the nation by US News and World Report.


Principal Licensure Pathway in Louisiana & Reciprocity

Graduates who complete the SPA|NOLA program are eligible to apply for the Educational Leader Certificate (ELC) in Louisiana. SPA|NOLA's curriculum satisfies the requirements for ELC with the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (LA BESE) for both M.A. and Ed. M. students. A number of states have reciprocity agreements with LA BESE for this license. Additional information about licensure and reciprocity for out-of-state students can be obtained from the Louisiana Board Elementary and Secondary of Education.

Requirements for Louisiana's Education Leader Certificate (ELC) Certification (Level 1) include:

  • Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from approved program (SPA|NOLA)
  • Hold or be eligible to hold a valid Louisiana Type B or Level 2 teaching certificate or have a comparable level out-of-state teaching certificate and three years of teaching experience in his/her area of certification
  • Passing test score on the Praxis School Leaders Licesnsure Assessment (SLLA)

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


No Opportunity Cost

Students enrolled in the Summer Principals Academy|New Orleans 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|NOLA earn their master’s degree in just 14 months.


The Guiding Framework for Instruction

The SPA|NOLA 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.

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