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Provided through SUNY Oswego and the Greater Southern Tier BOCES [LEA]

NYS Superintendent Development Program

Why Superintendent Development Program?

The New York State Superintendent Development Program is provided through the efforts of SUNY Oswego & Greater Southern Tier BOCES [LEA].  The program is the longest-running superintendent development program in New York State, with a proven track record over its 25-year history.  

  • Designed to prepare aspiring superintendents for the position of superintendent of schools
  • Participants acquire a district-wide perspective on the K-12 school organization
  • Appropriate for principals aspiring for district office positions
  • Train to use systems thinking in areas critical to success as a superintendent
  • Develop  skills and behaviors essential to becoming a successful superintendent of schools


The New York State Superintendent Development Program is offered to individuals seeking to become superintendent of schools who:

  • Possess or qualify for NYS School Building Leader (SBL), School District Business Leader (SDBL) or School District Leader (SDL) Certification
  • Have a record of successful school leadership characterized by commitment to children and high ethical standards.
  • Are recognized as possessing the potential to assume the responsibilities of the superintendent of schools.
  • Complete the application process which includes submission of all required documents and a confidential interview with a superintendent faculty member.
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Do You Need SDL Certification?

Are you interested in SUNY Oswego's SDP micro-credential but also in need of School District Leadership (SDL) certification?  We can develop a personalized program of study so you will be eligible for SDL certification.  Please complete the SDP application and indicate that you are interested at the bottom of the form.  We will contact you to discuss your options.



  • Applications Open: September
  • Applications Due: December
  • Notification of Acceptance: December / January
  • Opening Session: January 19th-20th
  • Mid-Year Session: July 10th-11th
  • Culminating Session: November 2nd


Cost and Payment Options

Program Fee: $5,000

  • If the program fee is paid by the associate, payment due dates and amounts are as follows:
    • $2,000 01/15
    • $1,500 05/02
    • $1,500 08/15
  • If the fee is paid by a school district, it may opt to make one payment or spread the payment across two fiscal years.
  • BOCES Aid may be claimed on the coordination portion of the program fee. 
  • For Associates pursuing NYS SDL Certification, the fee may include 9 graduate credits and sponsorship from SUNY Oswego at no additional charge.
  • Associates with SDL Certification may opt for the 9 credits hours for an additional SUNY Oswego tuition charge, billed directly to the individual.

Please note students will be making payments to Greater Southern Tier (GST) BOCES.  GST BOCES does NOT accept credit cards or electronic payments ONLY  checks or money orders can be accepted.

NYS Superintendent Development Program Participants


The Superintendent Development Program is a must if you are considering the position of the Superintendency. It’s a yearlong authentic on the job training preparation program like no other. The experiences, networking and relevant work is all purposefully tied to developing strong district leadership.

-Eben M Bullock

The SDP engaged me in authentic tasks with a diverse group of aspiring leaders. Our rich discussions created profound experiences that prepared me well for the superintendency. I feel the SDP program made the difference in me making the transition successfully.

~ Aaron R. Johnson

I participated in the Superintendent’s Development Program in 2010, nine years before becoming a superintendent. No other program has offered me the level of preparation needed to take on this role. The SDP’s reflective nature helped me to identify personal strengths and reflect on areas of growth, giving me the encouragement and confidence needed to become a superintendent.

~ Nicole Wolfe.


Program Description


The Superintendent Development Program (SDP) is an established, recognized, 9 month 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 twenty-three years (1998 to 2021) 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.


Program Components

  • Weekly team meeting
  • 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




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School District Leadership Educational Leadership


Division of Extended Learning

337 Sheldon Hall
Oswego, NY 13126


Phone: 315-312-2270
Fax: 315-312-3078
Email: [email protected]


9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday