Description of the Superintendent Development Program

The Superintendent Development Program (SDP) is an established, recognized, year-long, field program that teaches and mentors experienced senior school administrators through the transition from their current position to Superintendent of Schools. Through July 2016, one hundred and seventy four (174) SDP graduates have successfully moved into New York State Superintendency.

The Superintendent Development Program was designed and developed by five BOCES District Superintendents and faculty from Oswego State University. In seventeen years (1998 to 2015) the program has graduated 542 Associates. The NYS Council of School Superintendents, the NYS Association for Women in Administration, and the School Administrators Association of NYS have endorsed the program.

The program runs continuously for 10 months, January through November. Associates meet weekly with their team, attend five full day statewide sessions, attend three regional special topic sessions, attend the NYSCOSS Fall Leadership Institute, and have additional meetings and assigned work.

Prior to acceptance they are screened by faculty, who are practicing New York State superintendents. While many participants (Associates) are interested in pursuing the superintendency, others enter the program to gain a greater understanding of school district leadership. Ninety five percent of associates have NYS School District Administrator/School District Leader Certification before entering the SDP and approximately ten percent have an earned doctorate. Associates successfully completing the program are awarded nine graduate credits by Oswego State University.

The foundation of the program consists of teams with two faculty mentors and five to seven associates working through a series of authentic learning activities - real issues facing superintendents in local school districts. Each team has one-two team faculty who are sitting Superintendents of Schools. Participants are trained to use systems thinking in areas identified as critical to success for the superintendent.


Weekly Team Meetings

Writing of Educational Platform Statements

Presentation on Authentic Learning/Issue Analyses
Individual and Team Assessment Activities
Defense of Educational Platform Statements
SDP Administrator's Inventory Matrix
Team Direction Activities
Superintendents to Interview - Interview Questions - Meeting Logistics
Team Organization Activities
Scheduling Superintendent Interviews
First Authentic Learning Issue

Interviews of Superintendents and Discussion of Current Issues (6)
Issue Analysis
Special Topic Sessions (3)
- Finance and the School District Budget
- Labor Relations, Collective Bargaining and the Law
- The Superintendent and the Media
Two Day Shadowing (optional)
Three Part Board of Education Meeting
First Half Associate Critique
Associate Reflections on first half experiences

Presentation Team Reports on the Financial Authentic Issue/Critique
Discussions with NY State Education Leaders
Special Topic Workshops
Superintendents/Associates Panel Discussions
Presentation by Search Consultant(s)
Team Meetings

Issue Analysis
Development of District Scan and Entry Plan
Educational Platform Statements - Rewrite
Associate Reflections on second half experiences
End of Program Associate Critique
Associate Screening Interviews with two District Superintendents and/or Consultants
Attendance at NYSCOSS Fall Leadership Institute

Associate Presentation of District Scan and Entry Plan
Transitions Discussion
Program Evaluation