Skip to Main Content

School District Leader (SDL) - ADV CERT

Program Overview:

The programs in Educational Leadership and Administration prepare students for careers in educational leadership in school building and school district environments at public, non-public, private, state and national agency levels. Educational leadership program options are available to meet a variety of student interests and career goals. Programs include a Master of Science in Education (concentration in School Building Leadership or School District Business Leadership), and advanced certificates leading to New York State certification as a School Building Leader (SBL), School District Leader (SDL), or School District Business Leader (SDBL).  

The preparation programs combine school leadership theory with high engagement and relevant practice so program graduates are fully prepared to be successful school leaders. The combination of full-time faculty supported by adjunct field based faculty, ensures a student’s preparation is practical, and replicates the demanding expectations of school leadership. 


These courses utilize the analysis of education case studies, interactive classroom experiences, potential site visits, expert panels, and a project based methodology. The emphasis of the course is on district level leadership. It is designed to shape and assess the abilities of potential leaders to analyze, strategize, implement and follow-up, individually and in groups, with respect to the problems faced by school district leaders in a variety of settings. There is also an emphasis on systems and organizational change management. The cases, assignments, and classroom experiences are targeted to specific activities that a district level leader might perform in his or her job. Upon completion students will acquire the knowledge, dispositions and skills necessary to perform the functions of the chief executive officer and instructional leader of a school district.


In most cases, students will be required to be matriculated into a program prior to being able to register for classes. Students are expected to work closely with the assigned college adviser to ensure that the program of study and experience are both appropriate and meaningful for meeting individuals’ personal and professional goals.

The School District Leader:

The School District Leader (SDL) advanced certificate prepares students to assume most district-wide or multiple building responsibility leadership roles. Typical district leadership roles might include a district director of a specialty subject area, District Director of Instruction, Assistant Superintendent, or Superintendent of Schools. The cornerstone courses for the SDL program (EDA 601 & EDA 602) are typically offered in the summer over 9 full-days as part of a Summer Leadership Academy. Program completion requires students to meet New York State SDL qualifications for certification including a master’s degree, 60 graduate hours, and have at least three years of grade P-12 full time teaching experience, public or private, or three years of experience in Pupil Personnel Services (PPS), or three years of school leadership experience. 

Program Contacts:

Dr. Deborah Shea


Coordinator, Educational Leadership and Administration programs


Program Webpage:

Program Requirements:

Students must first meet course and credit requirements for the School Building Leader (SBL) Advanced Certificate (a minimum of 24 credits). The number of credits and course requirements for completion of the School District Leader (SDL) Advanced Certificate program depends upon several variables, including possessing a master’s degree and where the student completed the SBL certification preparation. If a student graduated from The College of Saint Rose Educational Leadership SBL program within the previous 6 years and met other requirements, the student can complete the program with 6 additional credits.  The courses required are EDA 601 District Level Leadership & Management, and EDA 602 School District/Community Policy & Politics.  

Students completing SBL administrative work at other colleges, or students who completed the program at The College of Saint Rose more than 6 years from the date of application, will typically need a minimum of 6-9 additional credits (in addition to the six credits mentioned above) to meet the SDL preparation requirements. The course requirements for these students are determined at the time of application and depend upon background and preparation.  Students may furnish a copy of the transcript for review by the departmental faculty who can provide pending course requirements after student acceptance into the program. Students with school administration preparation backgrounds from other institutions would be required at a minimum to take EDA 505, Principles of Leadership, and EDA 590, Culturally Responsive Leadership in addition to the course requirements described above. These courses are typically offered in the fall semester.

a. Pre-Requisite Core (18 Credits)

EDA 503Curr Ldrshp for Equity


EDA 505Principles of Ed Ldrshp&Admin


EDA 510Suprvsn of Tching & Lrning


EDA 540Education Law, Ethics & Policy


EDA 550Sch Fin, Res Plan & Pers Mgmt


EDA 590Culturally Responsive Ldrshp


b. Pre-Requisite Internship (6 Credits)

Students must have completed a minimum of 12 credits at The College of Saint Rose before initiating the internship. Students must also complete EDA 510 Supervision & Teacher Development prior to initiating part II of the internship, EDA 547. Fingerprinting clearance from the New York State Department of Education is also required prior to initiating the internship. Fingerprinting information is available on the NYSED “TEACH” website:

EDA 546Part 1Intern:Educ Lead & Admin


EDA 547Part 2 Intern:Educ Lead & Admi


Fingerprinting clearance for the New York State Department of Education is required prior to internship. Fingerprinting information is available on the New York State Department of Education “TEACH” website,

c. Required Core for All SDL Program Students (6 Credits)

Candidates for School District Leadership certification must complete all of the above plus the following:

EDA 601District Level Leadership & Mg


EDA 602School Dis/Com Policy & Politi


EDA 601 and EDA 602 must be taken together.

d. Additional Required Courses for Students with SBL Certification from Other Institutions or with Older Program Credits (6-9 credits)

EDA 505Principles of Ed Ldrshp&Admin


EDA 590Culturally Responsive Ldrshp


Actual required courses are determined by a review of students' transcripts by departmental faculty.

e. Required Workshops (0 Credits)

EDU 602Violence Prevention


EDU 603Child Abuse Prevention


EDU 611Dignity For All Students


New York State Certification Tests:

The New York State Education Department requires candidates for the School District Leadership (SDL) certificate to successfully complete the written and performance components of the State assessment in School District Leadership. For further information on testing:

Final Evaluation

The final evaluation of SDL candidates is based on the following criteria:

1.   Demonstrated competency in all additional course work.

2.   Candidates are required to successfully complete the written and performance components of the State assessment in School District Leadership.  

3.  In accordance with New York State Education Law, the student will have completed a Master’s Degree and the student will have earned a total of 60 graduate hours inclusive of the master’s degree and the required program described above.

Professional Accreditation:

The College of Saint Rose, sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet, Albany Province, is chartered by the Board of Regents of New York State. All of its degrees and programs are registered and its professional programs are fully approved by the Board of Regents through the New York State Education Department.

The College of Saint Rose is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

The specialized accrediting agencies noted below are recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation: Programs offered by The College of Saint Rose for the preparation of all school professionals, leading to initial and advanced certifications, are accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation.

Admissions and Financial Aid Information:

General Admission Information

Eligibility for admission to The College of Saint Rose graduate programs is typically based upon the following minimum requirements:

  1. Submission of a completed application, a resume, and Statement of Purpose of approximately 300 words detailing the applicant’s goals for graduate study.
  2. Evidence of the possession of a U.S.  baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution through submission of official transcripts from all post-secondary education.
  3. Academic and professional qualifications for graduate study, as indicated by two letters of recommendation. The Communication Sciences & Disorders and School Psychology programs requirethree letters of recommendation.
  4. A grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), overall and in the undergraduate major.
  5. Other admission criteria specified by academic programs such as submission writing samples, portfolios, test scores, and participation in interviews or admissions workshops.

Applicants to The College of Saint Rose are responsible for completing their applications by submitting all required components. Prospective students can access the online application and application instructions at

See Graduate Admissions section for more information.

Financial Aid

The College of Saint Rose has long been committed to the premise that a quality education should be within the reach of qualified students. To this end, the College serves its student body through a comprehensive program of federal, state, and institutional financial aid. While the basic responsibility for financing education lies with the students and their families, scholarships, loans, and/or assistantships can supplement insufficient family resources. The amount of aid available through the College is limited and is awarded on the basis of academic merit. All financial assistance from the College is subject to adjustment if the recipients are later granted aid from other sources. Financial aid awards are contingent upon students’ maintaining good academic standing and satisfactory academic progress.

See Financial Aid section for more information.

Additional Admission Information:

For admission to the program, applicants must provide the following:

1.   A completed application from The College of Saint Rose;

2.   Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended;

3.   Verification of permanent or professional certification status;

4.   For SDL admission, verification of at least three years of approved teaching and/or pupil personnel experience in a P-12 school setting or verification of at least three years of approved administrative experience in a P-12 school setting may be substituted for the teaching and/or pupil personnel experience for SDL certification but not for SBL certification; and

5.   At least two letters of recommendation: one from a school administrator, which must attest to the individual’s good character and potential as an administrator; and one from a professional who is qualified to evaluate the applicant’s scholarship. It is expected that the school administrator who acts as a reference for the applicant will be willing to mentor the applicant throughout the applicant’s administrative program at The College of Saint Rose.

For more information regarding application and admission, please visit the web page:

Find Out More: