Graduate Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership (Letter of eligibility for superintendencY)

Graduate Center

Program Overview:

Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents must be equipped to think strategically to solve complex issues facing K-12 education today. The Graduate Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership (LOE) at West Chester University can help students think critically about the issues by providing both theoretical knowledge and practical skills for students seeking professional growth. This Graduate Certificate is one component of the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility (LOE). West Chester University and the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) have partnered to assist interested candidates in earning the LOE endorsed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The superintendent role in public school systems is key to the success of the stakeholders—students, teachers, families, communities, and this 12-credit program is designed to help graduates provide academic and intellectual value to your district and beyond. Students will gain experience in leadership and decision-making that will contribute to their own success and to the success of the students and the educators.

Program Highlights:

  • Cohort model with rolling admissions
  • 12-credits/4 courses that are 7 weeks each with 45 hours of field experience per class
  • Online program (synchronous and asynchronous delivery)
  • Earn your certificate in as little as 2 semesters on Wednesday nights (Spring and Fall)
  • Curriculum builds practical knowledge that is informed by theory and current practices.
  • A focus on developing leaders who are ready to create collaborative and equitable learning spaces for students, faculty, and families within a school
  • Stand-alone certificate or embedded within the Ed.D. in Policy, Planning, and Administration
  • Coordination with Chester County Intermediate Unit to help apply for PA Department of Education Letter of Eligibility

Program Goals

Program completers will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the purpose and process of applied research within the contemporary education environment;
  • Strategically plan and organize professional pursuits to affect successful outcomes and policy formation;
  • Exhibit a sense of integrity, purpose, fairness, and ethical behavior;
  • Exhibit the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to positively impact the learning of all students;
  • Conduct applied research that produces reliable findings to make informed decisions, produce effective planning, and contribute to the development of relevant education policy;
  • Work collaboratively with others by recognizing the diversity of the talent and skills of all while providing leadership, as appropriate;
  • Articulate current trends in education that affect multiple stakeholders across various contexts; 
  • Effectively lead or participate in dialogue about critical issues in education within the educational setting.

Application Procedure

Application Deadlines:

Admission decisions to the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership are made on a rolling basis. In order to be considered for admission into the certificate, candidates should submit their application to the Graduate School by at least 6 weeks prior to the desired start date. Please see the WCU Registrar's calendar to view the academic calendar. The LOE program will be offered during Fall 1 and 2, Spring 1 and 2. Candidates can begin in any session.

Visit The Graduate School to apply to this program. * This program does not provide you with LOE Certification. This program provides students with the four courses needed for the LOE and assists candidates in obtaining transcripts of coursework for their LOE application.

 For more information about the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership at West Chester University contact:

Dr. Matthew Kruger-Ross

In addition to meeting admission requirements of the University, the student must:

  • Submit two letters of recommendation

  • A written statement of your professional goals

  • Resume and/or CV

  • A minimum of six years of satisfactory school employment experience, of which at least three must be in a supervisory or administrative capacity

  • Official transcripts from every college and university attended


A complete application to the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership (Superintendent Letter of Eligibility) consists of the following:

  1. Completed online application (
  2. Official transcripts from every college and university attended
  3. Two letters of recommendation
  4. Resume and/or CV
  5. Personal statement
  6. A minimum of six years of satisfactory school employment experience, of which at least three must be in a supervisory or administrative capacity is needed to apply for the Letter of Eligibility (LOE). (Please note: students can take the four required courses before applying for the LOE)

LOE Certificate Requirements

Course Work

The Graduate Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership requires 12 semester hours (credits) of course work. Included in the 12 semester hours are 180 hours of Field Experience. 

Field Experiences 1-4

In order to receive the LOE Certificate, students must complete 180 hours of Field Experience. Embedded in each course is 45 hours of field experience. Students will be provided with materials and instructions about how to log and submit documentation of these hours as part of their application for the LOE. 

Ed.D. Elective Credits

Students currently enrolled in the WCU Ed.D. are able to use courses from the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership to satisfy elective credits in the WCU Ed.D. program. 

NOTE: There are additional requirements and documentation for obtaining the LOE that the CCIU helps certificate holders complete.

Chester County Intermediate Unit Partnership

Chester County Intermediate Unit provides:

  • Assistance to candidates in obtaining a mentor to satisfy 180 hours of required internship hours;
  • Assist the candidate in maintaining a log of internship hours;
  • Receive all documentation necessary for the LOE including transcripts, logs of field work (180 hours) and internship (180 hours);
  • Recommend the candidate to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, PDE, for certification

For more information about the LOE recommendation to the PDE for certification contact:

Dr. Noreen O'Neill