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Departmental Career Overview

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (EDL) prepares outstanding educational leaders to assume significant positions of leadership in school systems.

The department’s mission is to prepare educational leaders and policy practitioners with comprehensive knowledge, appropriate skills and empowering attitudes to create and implement effective educational programs and conditions for positive change and excellence in diverse educational settings, communities, and education interested agencies. At the center of the department’s approach to preparing leaders are five key strategies: evidenced-based and technology-enhanced instruction and learning; extensive and intensive supervised field experiences and mentoring; cohort model structure and progression; faculty-student scholarly collaborations and presentations; and community involvement and networking. Through these strategies, EDL positions its graduates to be highly socially and emotionally competent leaders, helping to advance and transform leadership practices throughout the state of Connecticut and beyond.

The department currently offers two programs; the Sixth-Year Certificate Program with Certification (092) certifies that successful completers have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be administrators in Connecticut's public and private schools. Completers are eligible to serve as Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum Coordinator, Principal, Assistant Principal, Department Head, and other educational supervisory positions. The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program identifies leaders who can transform Connecticut’s educational institutions on all levels and in various agencies and organizations. The program’s mission is to prepare educational leaders with comprehensive knowledge, appropriate skills, and empowering attitudes to become leaders who are informed decision-makers capable of being reflective practitioners and who contribute to research and practice literature.

General Career Assistance

The EDL Department provides students with support through targeted academic advising and support and through networking opportunities with school districts, alumni, adjunct faculty members, and leaders in the public and private sectors. Subsidized opportunities are available to attend local, regional, and national conferences allow students to meet, interact with, and network with potential employers.

In addition to departmental resources and support, the SCSU Office of Career and Professional Development is available to provide various levels of focused career assistance. Students should visit the Office of Career and Professional Development throughout their tenure at SCSU.

Our district cohorts allow students to meet with district leaders throughout the program and in the final seminar capstone course. In addition, EDL faculty members incorporate guest speakers into the classroom and leadership experience. Besides the basic objective of exposing students to the various leadership positions such as Principal, Assistant Principal, and Department Head, incorporating guest speakers can inform candidates about current job openings and employment trends.

Internship and Experiential Learning Opportunities

At the Sixth-Year Certificate Program with Certification (092), the EDL Department prepares school and educational leaders. Through a number of field-based experiences, students are able to apply leadership theory and principles in supervised real-world settings. They are mentored by highly regarded, competent credentialed, experienced professionals. Candidates are required to develop and implement professionally sound project that serves the school community in advancing the mission and goals of the school. More widely, students are encouraged to become engaged in community-based service-learning projects. Specific opportunities for practical and field-based experiences include but are not limited to:

  • Community-Based Projects – Students with the support and guidance of their field site mentors design, develop, and implement a community-based project that benefits the school community and the community agency involved. The specific leadership activities involved must be clearly documented and must be clearly aligned with the identified state and national leadership standards.
  • Field-based Internships – EDL students are required to complete a 200-hour supervised and mentored field experience or internship in an accredited school system under the guidance and mentorship of a certified school leader. As the intern learns and develops his/her leadership knowledge, dispositions, and skills, he/she contributes to the school’s overall mission by being intimately involved in the school’s daily work. Acquisition in a variety of professional, industry, and non-profit companies and organizations.
  • Independent Study – SCSU students have the opportunity to develop new knowledge and scholarly inquiries within a topical area of their choice under the guidance and supervision of faculty members.
  • Research and Presentations – Students have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on research and presentations locally, statewide, and nationally. Doctoral students identify problems of practice that inform the preparation of their dissertation proposals and ultimately their dissertations that have significant implications for policy, practice, and future research.
  • Volunteer Opportunities – SCSU students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with current faculty within their areas of expertise. Students have the opportunities to learn and apply skills within the areas such as criminal justice, social inequalities, and demography.

Success Stories of Recent Graduates

Graduates of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (EDL) comprise a nationally significant percentage of the practicing school and organizational leaders in the State of Connecticut, New England, and a growing percentage of the school leaders nationally. Some of the leadership positions that EDL graduates hold include:

  • School Leader: Principal/Assistant Principal
  • District-Level Superintendent
  • District-Level Associate/Assistant Superintendent
  • District-Level Supervisor/Director
  • School-Level Department Chairperson/Program Coordinator
  • Program Director/Coordinator in School Districts, Higher Education Institutions, Private and Public Organizations
  • State-Level Administrator

Helpful Links


American Association of School Administrators, The School Superintendents Association (AASA)
National Association of Secondary School Administrators (NASSP)
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) 
Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) 
National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA)

State of Connecticut

Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) 
Connecticut Association of School Administrators (CASA) 
Connecticut Federation of School Administrators (CFSA) 
Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS)
Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors (CAAD)

Higher Education

World Educational Research Association (WERA) 
American Educational Research Association (AERA) 
     Division A – Administration, Organization, & Leadership 
     Division L  - Educational Policy & Politics 
University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) 
International Council of Professors of Educational Leadership (ICPEL) 
Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA)