Sixth Year Certificate
The Sixth Year Professional Certificate is a post-masters degree program for experienced teachers seeking Connecticutï¿½s 092 or Intermediate Administrator/Supervisor Certificate. It is designed to enable candidates to shape organizational direction; effect institutional planning and development; and influence organizational performance. Notable features of the program include rigorous entry standards; a strong curriculum presented by resident faculty and practitioner colleagues; a qualifying examination for certification; and required field experiences. Our course of study exceeds the minimum requirements established by the State of Connecticut for certification.
Please click here to view complete Program Learning Outcomes for Sixth-Year Certificate.
Related Career Goals
The sixth-year certificate program meets the needs of educators who seek to acquire advanced career and professional development, and the leadership skills and credentials necessary to function effectively in preK-12 school settings under the Intermediate Administrator/Supervisor Certificate. Graduates of the program who are certified as intermediate administrators or supervisors will be eligible for such positions as elementary or secondary principal/assistant principal, program coordinator, department head, and for positions on the staffs of central offices (through the level of assistant superintendent), regional educational agencies, and the state Department of Education.
Conceptual Framework, Standards, and Program Design
The CCSU theme and conceptual framework for programs, ï¿½Preparing Leaders to Serve Their Communitiesï¿½, identifies three roles of the education professional: active learner, facilitator of learning for all students, and reflective and collaborative practitioner. The department's conceptual framework and outcomes for the educational leadership program have emerged from the CCSU conceptual framework, and from our understanding of several core documents: Standards for School Leaders (Connecticut State Department of Education, 1998), Defining Effective Leadership for Connecticutï¿½s Schools (Leithwood and Duke, 1997), and Principals for our Changing Schools (National Policy Board for Educational Administrators). As such, the work we do derives from several areas of research: transformational school leadership, leadership and school restructuring, leadership and effects on learning for all students, and the literature of organizational learning. In addition, we have added our own distinctive concerns about the preparation of leaders for diverse and multicultural environments.
The sixth year program is nationally accredited (NCATE/Educational Leadership Constituents Council) and is designed to meet Standards for Advanced Programs in Educational Leadership published by the National Policy Board for Educational Administrators. These standards are illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1. ELCC Standards (Educational Leadership Constituent Council)
- Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation and stewardship of a school or district vision of learning supported by the school community.
- Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by promoting a positive school culture, providing an effective instructional program, applying best practice to student learning, and designing comprehensive professional growth plans for staff.
- Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by managing the organization, operations, and resources in a way that promotes a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
- Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by collaborating with families and other community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.
- Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by acting with integrity, fairly, and in an ethical manner.
- Candidates who complete the program are educational leaders who have the knowledge and ability to promote the success of all students by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
- The internship provides significant opportunities for candidates to synthesize and apply the knowledge and practice and develop the skills identified in Standards 1-6 through substantial, sustained, standards-based work in real settings, planned and guided cooperatively by the institution and school district personnel for graduate credit.
- The program also responds to Connecticut State Department of Education Standards for School Leaders (1998). The Connecticut Leader Standards are presented in Figure 2.
Figure 2: CT State Department of Education:Standards for School Leaders
- The Educated Person.
The school administrator is a school leader who promotes the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community.
- The Learning Process.
The school leader possesses a current, research- and experience-based understanding of learning theory and human motivation, helps develop such understanding in teachers and parents, and uses that understanding to promote the continuous improvement of student learning.
- The Teaching Process.
The school leader possesses a knowledge of teaching which is grounded in research and experience, and uses that knowledge to foster teachersï¿½ reflection on the impact of their professional beliefs, values, and practices on student learning (i.e. Common Core of Teaching).
- Diverse Perspectives.
The school leader understands the role of education in a pluralistic society, and works with staff, parents and community to develop programs and instructional strategies that incorporate diverse perspectives.
- School Goals.
The school leader actively engages members of the school community to establish goals that encompass the schoolï¿½s vision of the educated person and in developing procedures to monitor the achievement of those goals.
- School Culture.
The school leader utilizes multiple strategies to shape the school culture in a way that fosters collaboration among the staff and the involvement of parents, students, and the community in efforts to improve student learning.
- Student Standards and Assessment.
The school leader works with the school community to establish rigorous academic standards for all students and promotes the use of multiple assessment strategies to monitor student progress.
- School Improvement.
The school leader works with staff to improve the quality of school programs by reviewing the impact of current practices on student learning, considering promising alternatives, and implementing program changes that are designed to improve learning for all students.
- Professional Development.
The school leader works with staff to plan and implement activities that promote the achievement of school goals, while encouraging and supporting staff as they assume responsibility for their professional development.
- Integration of Staff Evaluation, Professional Development, and School Improvement.
The school leader works with staff to develop and implement an integrated set of school-based policies for staff selection, evaluation, professional development, and school improvement that results in improved teaching and learning for all students.
- Organization, Resources and School Policies.
The school leader works with staff to review organization and resources, and develops and implements policies and procedures to improve program effectiveness, staff productivity, and learning for all students.
- School-Community Relations.
The school leader collaborates with staff to create and sustain a variety of opportunities for parent and community participation in the life of the school.
Finally, throughout the program students are expected to develop and enhance their skills in fourteen specific areas. The first twelve are the standards of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP); the last two are important focal areas of CCSUï¿½s sixth year program. When candidates write about activities throughout their program, they should reflect about their growth and learning in these skill areas. Candidate performance throughout the program should reflect progress in developing the 14 skills. These are illustrated in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Leadership Skill Areas
- Problem analysis. Ability to seek out relevant data and analyze complex information to determine the important elements of a problem situation; searching for information with a purpose.
- Judgment. Ability to reach logical conclusions and make high quality decisions based on available information; skill in identifying educational needs and setting priorities; ability to evaluate critically written communications.
- Organizational ability. Ability to plan, schedule and control the work of others; skill in using resources in an optimal fashion; ability to deal with a volume of paperwork and heavy demands on oneï¿½s time.
- Decisiveness. Ability to recognize when a decision is required and to act quickly and appropriately.
- Leadership. Ability to get others involved in solving problems; ability to recognize when a group requires direction, to interact with a group effectively and to guide them to the accomplishment of a task.
- Sensitivity. Ability to perceive the needs, concerns, and personal problems of others; skill in conflicts, tact in dealing with persons from different backgrounds; ability to deal effectively with people concerning emotional issues; knowing what information to communicate and to whom.
- Stress tolerance. Ability to perform under pressure and during opposition; ability to think on oneï¿½s feet.
- Oral communications. Ability to make a clear oral presentation of facts and ideas.
- Written communications. Ability to express ideas clearly in writing and to write appropriately for different audiences students, parents, teachers, etc.
- Range of interest. Competence to discuss issues related to education, politics, current events, economics, finance, etc.; desire to participate actively in events.
- Personal motivation. Need to achieve in all activities attempted; evidence that work is important to personal satisfaction; ability to be self-policing.
- Educational values. Possession of a well-reasoned educational philosophy; receptiveness to new ideas and change.
- Leading for learning. Ability to focus all attention on student learning.
- Multicultural awareness. Sensitivity to diversity and equity in education.
Throughout the program, students are expected to reflect regularly and deeply about their knowledge and understanding of, skill development in, and dispositions toward the ELCC Standards, the seven Connecticut Leader Standards, and the fourteen specific NASSP skill areas. This type of reflection is a critical component of the program and incorporated into all courses. Students must clearly demonstrate their growth in these areas in order to progress through and graduate from the program.
Admissions Standards and Requirements
Admissions standards for this program are competitive and not everyone who meets the admissions requirements can be accepted. Only students admitted to this program will be eligible to apply for institutional recommendation for the Intermediate Administrator or Supervisor Certificate.
In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies, admission decisions will be based on the following:
- A master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
- A 3.0 minimum grade average in post-baccalaureate courses and a 2.7 undergraduate GPA are required. Students' with a 3.3 or higher post-baccalaureate GPA (on a four-point scale) will receive first priority for admission into the program.
- A minimum of three years teaching experience m.
- Possession of or eligibility for a Connecticut teaching certificate
- Two letters of recommendation from school administrators who can attest to applicantï¿½s strengths and weaknesses, interpersonal skills, intellectual ability, and leadership potential.
- A well-written and appropriate application essay that focuses on the reasons that led the candidate to the area of school leadership as well as future career goals.
- Completion of EDL 590, "Leaders as Learners," and successful portfolio presentation to search committee
- An interview by a team of Educational Leadership faculty
All applications and supporting materials for admission to the program must be received at the Department of Educational Leadership by April 1st for the summer semester and December 1st for the following summer. Faculty members participating in the interview process complete a standard form and make a recommendation to the chair, who considers all information before rendering a decision. Students who do not meet department standards are deferred or denied, with suggestions for remedying their weaknesses.
Once admitted to the program, a sixth year candidate is assigned an advisor who is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership. The student must contact the advisor soon after acceptance to set a time for meeting and developing a Planned Program of Study. In the appendices we have provided the Graduate School forms used to document requirements and assess that each graduate has completed the planned program. This form must be signed by the student, the advisor, and the Dean of the Graduate School in order for the student to take more than one class.
Program of Studies
The degree program leading to intermediate level certification is a 30 credit hour program and is designed to scaffold learning opportunities for students. These learning opportunities include both courses and benchmark assessment points. The courses are grouped into three levels: introductory level coursework, intermediate level coursework, and advanced level coursework. Students are allowed to proceed through the program and take coursework in the next level only upon successful completion of coursework and the benchmark assessments, or with the approval of the studentï¿½s advisor. The courses and benchmark assessment points are illustrated in Figure 4 and explained further in the student handbook.
Figure 4. Courses and Benchmark Assessments for the Sixth Year Certification Program
Introductory Level Courses
- EDL 590 (3 credits)
- Benchmark Assessment 1: Prepared presentation to the faculty on studentï¿½s vision as an educated person
Intermediate Level Courses
- EDL 605 and EDL 606 Leadership for Teaching and Learning (6 credits)
- EDL 610 and EDL 611 (6 credits)
- EDL 615 and EDL 616 (6 credits)
- Benchmark Assessment 2: Portfolio items from each of the core courses
Advanced Level Courses
- EDL 690-691 Internship in Educational Leadership (4 credits)
- Benchmark Assessment 3: Leader Portfolio
- Electives (5 credits)
The Intermediate Level and Advanced Level courses are designed to be taken in pairs. Each pair of courses is taken as two semester-long courses at 3 credits each. At the Intermediate Level, paired courses may be taken in any order. It is recommended that they be taken in the following way: EDL 605 and EDL 606; EDL 610 and EDL 611; EDL 615 and EDL 616. After completing two of these paired courses, some students do choose to take the final pair at the same time as they take the internship (EDL 690 and EDL 691). In order to be approved to take the internship, all students must successfully complete all requirements for Benchmark Assessment 2 for the courses they have completed.
Students must complete their program of study by taking 5 credits worth of electives. These elective requirements can be satisfied by taking one, two, or three credit courses taught by full-time or clinical faculty (practitioners in leadership in local districts and educational service centers). For example, we offer courses dealing with closing the achievement gap; teacher evaluation in the context of new Connecticut requirements for embedded professional development; multiple intelligences; questioning strategies in the classroom; and conflict resolution. Students may also fulfill their electives requirements with coursework from other subject areas such as special education, educational foundations, reading, math, and bilingual education.
Performance Assessment Embedded in Courses: As a program and a department, we are committed to authentic and other forms of performance assessment. Assessment strategies used across courses include rubrics, rating forms, simulations, role playing, and applications of knowledge gained in courses to authentic projects such as grant-writing, evaluation studies, and action research.
Connecticut Administrator Test
All candidates seeking administrative certification must pass the Connecticut Administrator Test (CAT), which consists of two school improvement case studies (three hours) and two instructional analysis and teacher support exercises (three and one-half hours). Candidates register to take this test through the Connecticut State Department of Education. Students may begin taking modules of the CAT as they are ready at any time during the program of studies but must pass all modules prior to receiving institutional recommendation.
Recommendation for Certification
Recommendation for certification occurs when students have completed all courses required in the planned program with a grade of B or better, passed the qualifying examination, satisfactorily completed the internship and passed the internship portfolio. In addition, Connecticut certification requires a course in special education that addresses exceptionalities (included giftedness) and inclusion and, for people who earned initial certification out of state, Praxis I (a test of basic skills). The department chair or designee recommends candidates to the School of Education and Professional Studies certification coordinator who in turn makes recommendations to the state.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Students are expected to:
- contact their assigned advisor immediately upon admission to the program and meet to develop a Planned Program of Study. This Planned Program must be approved by the faculty advisor and the Dean of the Graduate School.
- maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average
- demonstrate educational leadership competencies, as defined by the standards that support the program, throughout the coursework and benchmark assessments
- Advisors are expected to:
- be accessible during office advising hours
- work with the student to develop the Planned Program of Study
- monitor student progress, including issues related to incompletes in courses
- confer regularly with the department chair about student progress