Educational Leadership

Shippensburg University understands the importance of providing programs for school district, state level and organizational leaders. Ship's Department of Educational Leadership works in collaboration with the Office of Professional, Continuing and Distance Education (PCDE) to provide a variety of graduate certificate and post-master's programs.

Our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing education professional with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to develop and implement programs that support the Commonwealth’s children in realizing their full academic potential in a variety of educational settings. The program cohorts are relatively smaller in size to encourage discussion and collaboration amongst students under the guidance of university faculty, leadership fellows who are practicing experts in the field, as well as district-level executive leaders who serve as mentors.

These programs and cohorts are offered in convenient locations, with variety of online components, plus evening and/or weekend courses.

Educational Leadership at Ship

Flexible Coursework for Busy Professionals

The following Educational Leadership programs are designed specifically with the working education professional in mind. The blended learning experience makes the programs convenient and accessible for school personnel that are currently employed in professional positions. 

Expert Faculty & Mentors  

Each residency is four credits and will be co-supervised by a university faculty member, a Leadership Fellow who is a practicing expert in the field, and a district based facilitator/mentor. They are selected from current district-level administrators, or other credentialed with specific expertise in the targeted areas. 

M.Ed. In Educational Leadership + Principal Certificate 

Blended face-to-face and Online
  • 33-credit cohort program allows students to earn both the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and the Principal Certificate at the same time  
  • Complete in 2½ years or less 
  • 3 weekends a semester per course 
  • Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) approved 

Why Study Educational Leadership?

The skills necessary for effective administration of a school are learned, not intuitive. Each year a number of teachers take the first step to secure certification as a school administrator. A knowledge base for administrators for 21st century school leaders includes data analysis, instructional leadership, organizational management, and providing equity for diverse learners.

The College of Education and Human Services offers a Master's of Education in School Administration that includes certification as a principal and/or supervisor for teachers who wish to move into educational leadership and policy, and/or who wish to prepare for a doctoral program in educational leadership and policy. Post-master's programs are also available for certification of K-12 principals and the superintendent's letter of eligibility. We offer post-master's degree programs for the supervisory certificate.

Program Requirements 

Below are the following admission and application requirements: 

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Present an official transcript showing at least a 2.75 cumulative grade point average for your undergraduate studies
  • Have certification as a teacher and have completed at least two years of successful teaching experience in elementary, middle, or secondary schools (or have had other acceptable professional experience in education)
  • Present two letters of recommendation on forms provided by the department, one from the chief school administrator in the school where you are currently teaching or recently have taught, and one from another school administrator

Learn more about the Graduate Program at Ship


The Supervisory / Principal Certificate

Post - M.Ed. Program

The Supervisory / Principal Certificate is a post-master's degree program that's ideal for individuals who have earned M.Ed. and want to expand their leadership skills.

Fields of Specialization 

The Supervisory Principal certificate program offers specializations in the following fields: 

  • Communication/English
  • Counseling
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Environmental Education
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages
  • Pupil Services
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Social Studies/Citizenship
  • Special Education   
Flexible Course Work for Busy Professionals
  • Complete program in 6-7 courses (depending on student background (5 courses and 2 practicums) )
  • 3 weekends a semester per course 
  • Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) approved

Program Requirements 

Below are the admission and application requirements:

Certification as a K-12 principal:

To be eligible for admission of the post-master's degree program leading to certification as a K-12 principal:

  • A copy of your teaching certificate and evidence of three years of successful teaching experience at any grade level from K-12
  • If you earned your master's degree from an institution other than Shippensburg University, you must provide an official transcript of your graduate and undergraduate studies
  • Provide a statement of purpose for seeking principal's certification through the "Program Statement or Questionnaire link in the Ship Admissions portal.
  • Provide three references (one from an administrator in the school where you currently teach or recently have taught, and one from the chief school administrator) in the recommendations tab through your Ship Admissions portal. An automated email will be sent on your behalf for their recommendation.
Certification as a K-12 supervisor:

To be eligible for admission of this post-master's certification is the same as listed above within the K-12 Principal. Only additional requirement is that your master's degree must have an emphasis in a subject matter field or education specialist area (see Fields of Specialization above).

Superintendent Letter of Eligibility 

Leadership Residency Program Option 

This program is designed for education professionals who are seeking alternative pathways to executive-level certification. With the Leadership Residency Program option, you can complete residencies for the Letter of Eligibility at your home school district.  

Program Requirements 

Below are the admissions and application requirements:

  • Fully field-based practicum series of 6 residencies that focus on key leadership competencies
  • Act 45 and Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) approved
  • Complete residencies in your home school district in about one and a half years while remaining in your current position 
  • Each residency is 4 credits and will be co-supervised by a university faculty member, a practicing expert in the field, and a district-based facilitator/mentor 
  • A maximum of 14 candidates will be selected for the next cohort 

For more information about joining next cohort or attending program info session, please contact Department of Education Leadership & Special Education -

Program & Support

Program Contacts

Course Content & Academic Advising 

College of Education and Human Services

Department of Educational Leadership & Special Education

General Information 

Admissions, Course Schedules, Registration 

Dr. Carolyn Callaghan
The Office of Professional, Continuing, and Distance Education (PCDE)
Horton Hall 107
717-477-1123  ext. 3275

The School of Graduate Studies
308 Old Main
(717) 477-4016  

National & Professional Education Associations

  • The Pennsylvania Association of Elementary & Secondary School Principals (PAESSP)
  • Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA)
  • Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA)
  • American Association of School Administration (AASA)
  • National School Boards Association (NSBA)
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)