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School District Leadership, Advanced Certificate

The Advanced Certificate program in School District Leader (SDL) provides students with an intellectual environment that enables them to refine existing knowledge and develop new knowledge, practices, and skills in the areas of administration, assessment, and curriculum.

The Advanced Certificate program in School District Leader (SDL) provides students with an intellectual environment that enables them to refine existing knowledge and develop new knowledge, practices, and skills in the areas of administration, assessment, and curriculum. Graduates of this innovative program earn New York State certification to become a school district leader in central offices. The SDL Advanced Certificate in Educational Administration program is nationally accredited and designed to prepare school principals to assume roles in the district office.

Admission requirements include a master’s degree from an accredited college or university; graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher both in the general average and in the major field; a minimum of three years of successful teaching, administration, or supervisory or pupil personnel experience; and New York State Permanent Teaching Certification (when applicable).

The program consists of 31 credit hours beyond an initial master’s degree in educational leadership or a closely related field. This includes a three-credit internship and a one-credit intensive NYS exam preparation course. Upon admission, the candidate is assigned a faculty academic advisor who assists in developing a course plan in accordance with the program requirements. All 30 credits are transferable to the doctoral program.

Candidates typically enroll part-time (two courses per semester) for the majority of their program. Courses are offered on the Queens campus (weekday evenings). Courses are also offered online.

Apply Request Info Plan your Visit
Degree Type
Adv Cert
Area of Interest
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
  • Online
Required Credit Hours


Please view the School of Education Graduate Admission Application Requirements for detailed admission information.


Online Learning

Earn Your Degree Online
Pursue your St. John’s degree entirely on your computer. Our fully accredited Online Learning programs allow you to take courses electronically. Log in at your convenience to enter our virtual classrooms, learn from our accomplished faculty, and engage with classmates.

Our online courses offer the same high academic quality that students experience on campus. Professors deliver lectures and post assignments via Blackboard, our electronic course management system. Students use it to attend virtual classes, share documents, take exams, and exchange ideas with faculty and classmates.

A Fully Academic Experience
You also enjoy the outstanding services available to all St. John’s students, for example:

  • Eligibility for scholarships and financial aid
  • Tuition and fees identical to those for on-campus courses
  • Access to library collections, career services, mentoring, and other academic resources.

Contact us for more information about online learning at St. John’s.


  • EDU 5103 Educational Governance and Policy Issues
  • EDU 5301 Leadership Values, Decision Making and Multicultural Org
  • EDU 5632 Organization and Administration of the Elem. and Secondary School Curricula
  • EDU 5655 Educational Research and Data Analysis I
  • EDU 5741 Finance in Education
  • EDU 5761 School-Based Business Administration for Admin. & Supv.
  • EDU 5791 Legal Aspects of the Administration of Schools
  • EDU 7665 Leadership in Technology I
  • EDU 7708 Trends & Techniques in the Evaluation of Programs
  • EDU 5951 Internship Seminar in SDL
  • EDU 5599 General Review and Exam Preparation: SDL

Program Benefits

The Advanced Certificate program in School District Leader provides a means for candidates to demonstrate how to adapt administrative theory to practice, utilize and interpret educational technology, implement data-based decision-making, address the learning needs of diverse learners, and understand and conduct research. Online courses offer students flexibility and convenience.


The Department of Administrative and Instructional Leadership has partnerships with educational agencies in the metropolitan area, including Nassau County BOCES, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Stony Brook University, and the New York City schools. Collaborative ventures with educational institutions in Korea and Italy have also been established.

What makes our program unique? Why come here?

The Advanced Certificate in SDL program at St. John’s University has an outstanding reputation for quality and completion. Faculty advisors work closely with candidates to identify current needs pertinent to the field of education and relevant to their own work contexts. The partnerships noted above provide a unique opportunity to examine issues in education with data that reflect current challenges in the local area, region, or state. Students are expected not only to reflect and improve their own professional practices, but also to facilitate the growth and development of other educators.

According to the New York City Department of Education (DOE), “St. John’s graduates were rated highest in retention, the percentage of teachers still employed in the NYC DOE three years after hire; were second-best in tenure approval; had the lowest receiving ‘unsatisfactory’ ratings their first year; and 91 percent of its teacher graduates were rated ‘highly effective’ or ‘effective’ as reflected in student growth scores on fourth- through eighth-grade math and English tests.”

As of 2014, US News & World Report ranked The School of Education graduate program as the fifth highest out of 166 graduate online programs evaluated across the nation.

What’s in it for me?

The Advanced Certificate in SDL program is a credential beyond the master’s degree. The completion of this program allows our graduates to be very competitive for high-level educational job opportunities that relate to current school district leadership roles, curriculum studies, and technology.


Career Services at the University helps candidates identify opportunities for advancement.


Career Possibilities

The program is designed to develop educational leaders who are prepared to assume professional leadership in school district administration, higher education, school-level teaching, social agencies, not-for-profit agencies, corporations, and foundations—particularly those directly related to curriculum and instruction, educational technology, and differentiated instruction. The program prepares school principals to assume roles in the district office.

Program Contact

Stephen Kotok

Associate Professor

Sullivan Hall Queens 511


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