Superintendent Program

Welcome from Dr. Lars Björk!
Dr. Björk is the Program Chair for the Superintendent program. Feel free to send him an email if you have any questions about the program or about planning a course of study.
Or click here to let us send the latest information on this program directly to your inbox.

Apply Now

Program Description

The UK Superintendent Certification Program is fully online and interactive. Outstanding faculty and mentors integrate knowledge and practice, align learning with superintendents’ annual work cycle and guide work- embedded learning. “Flipped” classrooms use high-quality online learning modules that offer students flexibility in preparing for problem-solving sessions with state and nationally prominent faculty and invited presenters. This online, Executive Leadership Program begins in the Summer semester, 2018 and ends May 2019. This research-based, standards-aligned (ISLLC), and performance-assessed program is designed to prepare the next generation of superintendents to lead instructionally effective school districts.

Certification Program Schedule (12 Credit Hours)

  • Summer: EDL 676: The School Superintendency (3)
  • Summer: EDL 677: School System Administration (3)
  • Fall: EDL 678: Strategic Management in Education (3)
  • Spring: EDL 682: Leading District Change and Innovation (3)

Note: Superintendent courses may be used as a specialized area of study for the Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) and Interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree programs.

Program Faculty

UK Program faculty are outstanding! They include nationally recognized authors, policymakers and superintendents who are dedicated to preparing the next generation of district leaders. Explore the faculty page for full faculty profiles.

  • Dr. Lars Björk
  • Dr. Lu Young
  • Linda France
  • Dr. Carmen Coleman

Admission Requirements:

  1. A current professional educator certificate;
  2. A written statement of and evidence of leadership experiences at the school building or district level (included in your “Portfolio”, Part II);
  3. At least two (2) years of full-time experience in a position of school principal, supervisor of instruction, guidance counselor, director of pupil personnel, director of special education, school business administrator, local district coordinator of vocational education, or a coordinator, administrator, or supervisor of district-wide services. Other administrative experience may be substituted for this requirement with the approval of the Education Professional Standards Board EPSB) (Resume);
  4. Three (3) years of teaching experience (Resume);
  5. Completed a Master’s Degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (Unofficial Transcript).
  6. Four letters of recommendation including one from a supervisor/education agency representative attesting to the applicant’s suitability for serving as a school leader. Online applications may be expedited by submitting letters directly to the Department of Educational Leadership Studies.

Visit the UK Graduate School to apply.

Application Process

Step 1: Create an Account in the Online Application System
  1. First, create an account with the UK Graduate School including a user name and password. If you are a former UK student and don’t know your LinkBlue ID number please call or email for assistance.
  2. Once you have a username and password you can fill out one online application to the UK Graduate School and the Department of Educational Leadership Studies.
  3. You do not have to complete the application at one time. Your user name and password will allow you to log in as many times as you wish to complete your unfinished application. NOTE: The application fee must be paid by credit card at the time of final submission.
Step 2: Designate Your EDL “Plan of Study”
  1. In the application site you will need to select your “plan of study.”
  2. Please view this important tip on how to select the correct program. Continue your online application using these instructions:
    1. For “Admission Category” select “Teacher Education Certification-other”
    2. For Program” select “Educational Leadership”
    3. For “Intended Start Date “select “Summer”
    4. For “Program Specific Information” Select “Superintendent”
  3. College Information
    1. Enter the names of all colleges attended;
    2. GRE/GMAT Scores (Leave Blank)-They are not required);
    3. Undergraduate and Graduate GPA’s are required. This information may be found on your transcripts. Former UK students may also obtain them using their UK LinkBlue account;
    4. You may upload unofficial transcripts from all universities attended showing award of an undergraduate, master’s degrees and other coursework. You will then need to have Official transcripts sent to the University of Kentucky Graduate School from every college you have attended. Former UK students do NOT need to submit an Official Transcript but you can obtain a free, unofficial copy of your transcript from the UK LinkBlue website to upload into your application. Other universities may provide a similar online service. If you have difficulty obtaining a copy of your transcripts please contact the department administrator.
    5. Four letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a supervisor/education agency representative attesting to the applicant’s suitability for serving as a school district leader. Please enter information and email addresses for each of these individuals. The UK Graduate School will send them a request for recommendation and ask that the completed forms be returned to the Graduate School. If a technical problem arises please contact the department to arrange to have the completed recommendation forms sent directly to EDL.
  4. Supplemental Information
    1. Resume (Leave Blank);
    2. Personal Statement (Leave Bank)
    3. Writing Sample (Leave Blank)
    4. Assistantship application (Leave Blank)
    5. Portfolio –Upload a single page document labeled “PORTFOLIO” into your application.
    6. Complete your portfolio using the EDL Superintendent Certification Program Portfolio Template and email it to Lars Bjork at
    7. Additional Information (Leave Blank)
Step 3: Superintendent Certification Program Portfolio

Applicants are required to submit a Superintendent Certification Program Admissions Portfolio (pdf).

Upload a single page document labeled “PORTFOLIO” into your application. Complete your portfolio using the EDL Superintendent Certification Program Portfolio Template and email it to Lars Bjork

The Superintendent Certification Program Application Portfolio (ISLLC) required format will ensure that it is well organized and brief yet substantive.

Portfolio Part I: Professional Information

  1. Professional Resume (limited to 2 pages) that provides your name and contact information as well as postsecondary education (all degrees, years awarded, institution names, emphasis area), work experiences, education certifications and professional memberships;
  2. A copy of your current professional educator certificate;
  3. A written statement of and evidence of leadership experiences at the school building or district level (This is Part II of your “Portfolio”);
  4. A letter from your supervisor/agency representative attesting to your suitability for school district leadership. This letter will be included in your Apply Yourself Application (Online) and will be sent to EDL;
  5. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) from a district Superintendent (EDL Superintendent Program MOA – PDF)

Part II: Leadership Experiences

This section of your Portfolio focuses on describing your knowledge and leadership experiences in the following five areas:

  1. Ability to improve student achievement. Provide a brief narrative that includes brief descriptions that exemplify your work. Include student outcomes if available;
  2. Knowledge of schools laws relating to finance, school operations and personnel matters implementation of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Use each of these areas as subheadings then, list graduate courses completed and provide a brief narrative that highlights your school and district work;
  3. Commitment to ongoing professional growth (Provide a brief narrative that outlines areas in which you presently excel professionally, areas in which you are planning to gain additional knowledge and skills as well as areas that you envision may enhance your capacity to serve as a district leader). You may include a professional growth plan developed for your current position as evidence);
  4. Effective communication skills (written communication and information dissemination). Provide a brief narrative of strategies (interpersonal, electronic, social media et al.) that you have used to communicate with school, district and community stakeholders and descriptions of your work);
  5. Ability to build relationships, foster teamwork and, develop networks. Provide a brief narrative that describes your views on professional relationships, teamwork and networking as well as providing descriptions that exemplify your work.

Part III: Interview

Applicants will be interviewed by a panel of superintendents and EDL faculty as part of the Superintendent Certification Program admissions process. Interviews will be scheduled after candidates submit their Apply Yourself Application, It will focus on your professional background and experiences described in your Portfolio. After you receive an invitation, we will be pleased to discuss the interview process with you.

Enrolling in Courses-Summer 2018

Those admitted to UK/EDL may enroll in Superintendent Certification classes Summer 2018. If you need assistance registering for classes please contact Justin Bathon: (859) 321-4203 or

For More Information

Questions about the Superintendent Certification Program may be directed to Dr. Lars Björk, Superintendent Program Chair,, 859-257-2450.

Problems or questions about the UK/EDL admissions process may be directed to:

Application Deadline: Application Deadline: April 6, 2018.

Application for Superintendent Certification (Educational Professional Standards Board):

At the successful conclusion of your superintendent certification program you will receive a completed curriculum contract and program plan signed by the EDL Director of Graduate Studies, or the Director  of the Certification Program and yourself.  You will need to contact Mr. Christopher Reese ( ) for information about applying to the Educational Standards Board (EPSB).