Program at a Glance

Program Application

All candidates for entry to the program must have a minimum of three years’ experience as a teacher or other school professional prior to matriculation.

Apply to the program through the Graduate Admissions Office.

Program Information and Requirements

Students may take up to three classes (9 credits) before matriculating. All other courses require matriculation.

Courses are divided into three main categories:

  • Foundational (Law, Finance, and Curriculum)
  • Practical (Organizational Leadership, Special Programs Administration, and/or Principal Leadership/ District Leadership)
  • Clinical (Internship and Culminating Seminar)

The program offers only the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) leading to SBL, SDL or SDBL certification. The program does not lead to a “degree” (Masters or Doctoral).

The SBL (School Building Leader) and SDL (School District Leader) programs may be completed concurrently and require 30 graduate credits including the Internship requirement total. (Ten courses counting the Internship).

The SDBL (School District Business Leader) is considered a separate program and application to it must be made separately. It is currently listed as a 36 credit hour program with several specific course requirements complemented by courses required for SBL or SDL certification.

There is no required sequence of courses, although some courses are only available to matriculated students and a very few are reserved for students in their final semesters.

Students may take up to 9 credits per fall and spring semester, and up to 16 credits during the summer depending upon course availability during summer semester.

Students may transfer into the program up to 6 credits from other accredited NYS programs. Transfer credits require approval of the Program Coordinator.

Currently employed administrators with valid licenses from other states may be eligible for a review of records for consideration of a reduced residency requirement for courses to be taken at SUNY Cortland.


Students must have completed 21 credits before they may begin an Internship.

Internship proposals are due by Nov. 1 for spring term and June 1 for summer and fall term. One application allows students to choose from four Internship options (see Internship Guide.)

Apply to serve as an administrative intern.

Class Schedule and Financial Aid

Students may be eligible for financial aid while pursuing their CAS. This is typically available in the form of loans. Students must take six credits or more per semester to qualify for financial aid.

Most students in the program work full-time and take evening classes.

All classes are scheduled for hours beyond the regular school day (5 to 8:45 p.m.) and around the regional school calendar (school breaks and summer vacation times.)

Classes are available in a hybrid format, reducing the number of times students need to travel to either site, as an accommodation for the schedules of those with full-time jobs.

There is no official starting point for the program; students may begin in any semester.

We do not use a cohort model, although many students end up taking the same set of classes in the same location based on the course matrix, by default, creating a sort of optional cohort. This is a personalized pathway program to meet your individual needs, schedule and pace.

Additional Information

To the extent practical, the college will offer all courses needed to complete the CAS in SBL and SDL at both the SUNY Cortland site and a Mohawk Valley Region site. Students in the SDBL Program will need to take classes at SUNY Cortland during the summer sessions.

Students generally enroll in all of the courses offered for the SBL and SDL programs; there are essentially no electives except those courses required for the SDBL, and the choice between Principal Leadership and District Leadership if a student opts not to take both.

Students enroll in the program for both the SBL and SDL certificates, as there is currently no good means by which to complete the SDL after completing the SBL, without reapplying and retaking courses. It makes the most sense for most candidates to complete work for both the SBL and SDL certificates simultaneously in order to enhance employment eligibility.

Core courses offered in the program include the following abbreviated titles:

* denotes courses that can be taken without matriculation into the program.

  • EDL 613 Financial Leadership *
  • EDL 615 School Law *
  • EDL 616 Curriculum Leadership *
  • EDL 657 Organization Change *
  • EDL 678 Supervision *
  • EDL 680 Principal Leadership
  • EDL 683 Special Programs
  • EDL 690 District Leadership
  • EDL 696 Internship
  • EDL 699 Culminating Seminar

Additional courses for SDBL (36 credit requirement) include:

  • EDL 618 Human Resources / Personnel
  • EDL 656 School Finance
  • EDL 685 Facilities
  • EDL 698 Internship

More detailed information is available in the EDL Program Handbook. Contact Carly DiPietro, FSA Department Administrative Assistant, or Joseph Menard, EDL Program Coordinator, with questions.