Superintendent Leadership Licensure Program



About the Program


The Lynch School partners with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.) and the Center for Behavioral Health, Equity and Leadership in Schools (BHELS) a nonprofit organization through William James College focused on educational leadership development, to prepare future leaders and superintendents of public, Catholic, charter, and independent schools. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved this program for superintendent/assistant superintendent licensure.

Education for Transformation 

The Professional School Administrator Program (PSAP) provides you with a doctoral degree and the opportunity to earn your Massachusetts superintendent licensure. In PSAP, you join a cohort of other diverse, collaborative, and outstanding full-time administrators. Together, you explore key and pressing issues, ranging from leadership for social justice, to school reform, to community building. This culminates in authoring a dissertation-in-practice, an original piece of research helping to shape how scholars and other administrators understand educational leadership.

Supporting you throughout this process are nationally and internationally recognized scholars and sitting and retired district level educational leaders.  As a member of PSAP, you join a powerful network of educational leaders throughout Massachusetts and beyond.

Promoting Social Justice

Improving the human condition is at the core of the Lynch School’s founding mission and of the Boston College PSAP Ed.D. program. We believe in education’s capacity to transform lives, especially among marginalized communities. That is why PSAP focuses on meeting the learning needs of all youth – paying particular attention to diversity in race, primary language, learning abilities and style, and socioeconomic

Why PSAP and LLPS?

What Makes this Program Desirable?
  • Emphasis on building one’s pragmatic leadership skills toolbox with research-based approaches that focus on leadership for social justice, ethical leadership, school improvement and reform, community building and leadership for learning.

  • Courses are taught by distinguished faculty from Boston College and highly knowledgeable and skilled school leaders and consultants associated with BHELS and MASS who together link theory and practice.

  • Cohort model of approximately 25 students that emphasizes collaborative learning and support and creates a powerful network of district-level leaders throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond.

  • For the final Dissertation-in-Practice, students work in research teams and complete a yearlong study of a high leverage problem of practice in a local district.

PSAP and LLPS Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Ed.D. program are expected to demonstrate:

  1. Competence in instructional leadership (district level leadership; ethics and equity; culturally proficient leadership; needs of diverse learners; collaborative; reflective; open to feedback; strong oral and written communication; self-directed; confident)

  2. Competence in management and operations (planning and implementing change; budget development; human capital analysis; school committee relationships; strategic thinking; teaming skills)

  3. Competence in family and community engagement (culturally proficient leadership; educational equity audit and diversity planning; professional development implementation; community relationships; crisis communication)

  4. Competence in professional culture (self-awareness; culturally proficient leadership; team leadership; reflectiveness and self-assessment of leadership)

  5. Competence in advanced level data collection, analysis, and interpretation of research in the field of educational leadership.

Application Information

Appy through Boston College for the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership (PSAP) Program

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.

Program Administrator
Leadership Licensure Program for Superintendents
Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents/William JamesVincent Cho, PhD
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Higher Education (ELHE)
Director, Professional School Administrator Program (PSAP)
Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College
T: 617-552-3574

LLPS Licensure & Program Components

During the first two years, curriculum modules are taught concurrently with a 500-hour practicum so candidates can apply the course content in district settings. LIncensure candidates work under the direction of a mentor and supervisor, both of whom are licensed superintendents or assistant superintendents. Students have regular opportunities for feedback, assessment, and reflection. The third year is dedicated to completion of a capstone dissertation on a problem of practice in educational leadership.

Mentors from MASS, practicum supervisors, distinguished faculty and the PSAP/LLPS team support candidates to successfully complete the program. The cohort model emphasizes collaborative learning and creates a support network that extends far beyond the bounds of the program.

Problem-based activities are aligned to the instructional topics:

  • DNA of Leadership and Culture
  • Productive Superintendent/School Committee Partnerships
  • Management and Operations
  • Equity Centered Leadership
  • Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners
  • High Performing Teams
  • Supervision and Evaluation
  • Family and Community Engagement

Who can Apply for Admission

The program seeks creative thinkers and education innovators in public, charter, Catholic and other independent schools who are deeply committed to equity and social justice. Diversity, urban experience, and potential for exemplary leadership will also be considered.

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