Public School Building Leadership SPA NY MA

Master of Arts in Public School Building Leadership


The Summer Principals Academy (SPA) at Teachers College, Columbia University is a transformative graduate program that is committed to promoting equity and excellence in education and overcoming the gap in educational access and achievement between the most and least advantaged groups in this country. To achieve this goal, our aspiring school leaders are encouraged to construct transforming possibilities for student learning, school improvement, social equity, and opportunity. While some principal preparation programs are content to prepare school leaders to perpetuate schools as they currently exist, SPA strives to prepare leaders to create the innovative schools that our nation and world need.

Our cohort model allows courses to be delivered over two consecutive five-week summer sessions and the Administrative Internship takes place during the  intervening school year, where our graduate students are already place allowing them to maintain their jobs in their current schools while earning their degree. 

Students’ studies in SPA conclude with the New School Design Project which serves as the capstone to the degree.

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education.

A group of students converse in a study group at Teachers College.

Admissions Information

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 36
  • Entry Terms: Summer Only

Certification

  • NY State School Building Leadership (SBL) Certification

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): March 15

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • GRE General Test or MAT required for enrollment
  • Institutional Endorsement Form

Course Requirements

The Public School Summer Principals Academy (M.A., Ed.M.)

THE SUMMER PRINCIPALS ACADEMY
Degrees Offered: M.A. & Ed.M.
Certification Offered: New York State School Building Leader
Application Code: ELPS (New Orleans Cohort), ELBL (New York Cohort)

The Summer Principals Academy (SPA) offers two cohort locations to educators who aspire to become school leaders. SPA is structured for a diverse group of talented educators whose obligations preclude them from attending courses during the traditional fifteen-week academic semester or for whom distance is a barrier to attendance. The cohorts allow students to balance full-time employment as teachers and leaders with graduate study.

The two cohorts provide the same course content, instruction, assessment, and high-quality education experience, but each caters to a different school calendar.  SPA New York City offers courses each summer for five weeks in July, while SPA New Orleans delivers courses for five weeks beginning in June. 

SPA New York City leads to an institutional recommendation for New York State School Building Leader certification.  Students may also apply for certification in other states according to state-specific processes and inter-state reciprocal agreements.  Teachers College is accredited by the Middle Commission on Higher Education.  SPA New York City is registered with the New York State Education Department and SPA New Orleans is licensed by the Board of Regents of the State of Louisiana. 

Curriculum:
Summer I Session

  • ORLA 4001 Introduction to school leadership and decision making
  • ORLA 5018 School leadership for adult development
  • ORLA 5029 Staffing, mentoring and supervising learning communities
  • ORLJ 5340 Basic practicum in conflict resolution

Fall/Spring Session

  • ORLA 5532 Curriculum development: Teaching, learning, and assessment
  • ORLA 6460 Internship in school leadership

Summer II Session

  • ORLA 4033. School law and ethics
  • ORLA 5025. Ecology of data-driven leadership
  • ORLA 4025. Resource allocation for student achievement
  • ORLA 5017. Team building and organizational development
  • ORLA 6020. Pro-seminar in school leadership (ongoing through all terms of enrollment)

New York Cohort:

Program Director: Dr. Brian K. Perkins
Associate Director: Yolanda Davis
Assistant Director of Recruitment, Technology & Data: Penny Kapanika 

Phone: 212-870-8605
Website: www.tc.edu/spa

The Summer Principals Academy (SPA) at Teachers College, Columbia University is a transformative graduate program that is committed to promoting equity and excellence in education and overcoming the gap in educational access and achievement between the most and least advantaged groups in this country.  To achieve this goal, our aspiring school leaders are encouraged to construct transforming possibilities for student learning, school improvement, social equity, and opportunity.  While some principal preparation programs are content to prepare school leaders to perpetuate schools as they currently exist, SPA strives to prepare leaders to create the innovative schools that our nation and the world need.

Through the Summer Principals Academy, leadership development is fostered through an integrated set of experiences that include sound theoretical and "best practice" knowledge, problem-based coursework, and field-based experiences, including an intensive and extended internship. 

SPA is a cohort program enrolling over 180 graduate students each year in a rigorous 14-month, 36-credit program.  Courses are delivered Monday – Friday, from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, over two consecutive five-week summer sessions.  The 450-hour Administrative Internship takes place during the intervening school year, thereby enabling students to complete the internship requirements while maintaining their jobs in their current schools.  The schedule supports the reality of aspiring leaders who are currently working teachers, team leaders, department chairs, or supervisors who do not wish to leave their schools to attend a full-time program.

Students’ studies in the Summer Principals Academy conclude with the New School Design Project.  Serving as the capstone project, candidates integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed while preparing for leadership service in schools across the nation.  The New School Design teams are challenged to develop a new school that reflects the domains of knowledge, skill, and habits of mind and that is relevant to the challenges faced by children seeking a 21st-century education in an urban school setting.  The event offers the larger educational community of leaders the opportunity to share their insights and expertise regarding how to close achievement gaps effectively through the design of innovative and high-performing schools. 

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.

New Orleans Cohort:
 
Program Director: Dr. Brian K. Perkins
Assistant Director: TBD
Instructional Technology Specialist: TBD

Phone: 212-678-3390 or (504) 522-3395
Website: www.tc.edu/spanola

Aspiring school leaders pursue coursework and skill development over two summers and undertake a 450-hour internship at their school of employment during the intervening year. The summer academic schedule is Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm for five weeks. The program is 36 points, is completed in two consecutive five-week summers, and leads to an M.A. or Ed.M. in School Building Leadership. Admissions reviews are conducted separately for each cohort but use the same protocols. All candidates will be interviewed prior to admission (typically using video conferencing).

SPA integrates practice and skill development with theory and research using case studies and simulations and teamwork. Aspiring school leaders are encouraged to construct transforming possibilities for student learning, school improvement, social equity, and opportunity. We foster leadership development through an integrated set of experiences that include sound theoretical and “best practice” knowledge, problem-based coursework, and field-based experiences, including an intensive and extended internship. The following seven statements represent the core values of the Public School Summer Principals Academy:

  • Quality education and education leadership are central to promoting social justice and diversity, and these values are central to ethical leadership;
  • Excellent leadership development and preparation will nurture not only knowledge, skills, and values but also personal self-actualization and transformation;
  • School leaders are responsible for nurturing not only the teaching and learning of all members of the school community but also for nurturing their own self-actualization and personal transformation;  
  • Skillful collaboration and teamwork are essential to foster quality schools;
  • All aspects of leadership development and education will promote the practice of intellectually and ethically reflective leadership;
  • Active, participatory learning that is rooted in actual school contexts, simulations, and case studies and that offers multiple opportunities to improve leadership skills is core to the curriculum; and
  • Innovation and risk-taking play a key role in creating a vision and promoting educational change.

The knowledge, skills, and dispositions we seek to develop in the cohorts of students selected for SPA reflect and sustain these core competencies. They are also substantially present in the guidelines developed by ELCC and state certification of school building leaders. However, we seek to exceed the competencies of “good principals” and develop the intellectual, moral, and practical foundations that will permit principals of excellence to emerge. Excellent principals are developed over many years in the cauldron of reflective school leadership. The best academic programs support such emergence by providing a rich, complex, and adaptive learning environment that mimics closely the actual competencies required and provides frequent and prompt feedback.

The Public School Summer Principals Academy provides exactly that kind of environment promoting respect for and encouragement of cohort participants as they seek to become the best leaders they can be. The cohort model offers two intensive summers of study: summer immersion experiences for aspiring public school principals, as well as continuous support for students through an ongoing leadership seminar that continues throughout the academic program. The schedule supports the reality of aspiring principals who are currently working teachers, team leaders, department chairs, or supervisors who cannot afford to leave their schools or programs to attend graduate school full-time. Students also learn through non-traditional venues including distance learning, action research, site-based experiential learning, and written exchanges with faculty via student portfolios. E-portfolios are a central component of each student’s experience in the program. Copies of student work, exemplars from projects and case analyses, the internship, personal and professional vision statements, and other documents are on-going representations of student accomplishment. The academic program is concluded with a group project. The New School Design Project is the culmination of academic preparation for the Summer Principals Academy. These presentations showcase the efforts that our aspiring principals have made over the 14 months to integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed while preparing for leadership service in schools across the nation. They provide our graduating academy fellows with an opportunity to highlight their plans for what an ideal new school should look like in order to meet the unique challenges facing urban schools today. The event offers other educational community leaders the opportunity to share their insights and expertise regarding how to close achievement gaps effectively through the design of innovative and high-performing schools. Cohort members organize themselves into small groups based on similar interests and ideas and work throughout their second summer to design and present on the new school concept in their ideal world scenario.   

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