To become a superintendent in Texas, a candidate must obtain a superintendent certificate issued by the state. A superintendent is hired by a local school board to oversee the programs and operations throughout the entire school district. The job of a superintendent involves daily decisions about staff, educational programs, finances and facilities at all schools. The superintendent is also responsible for hiring and managing school district staff and school principals. The requirements for becoming a superintendent ensure that the person holding the position is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out these leadership duties.
A superintendent in Texas must have a master's degree from an accredited university as recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The degree typically does not need to be in a particular subject. In addition, a candidate must successfully complete an approved superintendent educator preparation program. These programs are offered throughout the state of Texas at certain universities and at regional education service centers. Some superintendents might also pursue a doctorate in education, although this is not necessary for obtaining a superintendent certificate.
Completing a superintendent certificate program should prepare educators for the duties of a superintendent position. The coursework of this type of certificate program generally includes advanced classes in administration, school business, staffing and school law. The programs also include internships or practicums designed to give candidates valuable experience in leadership at the school-district level.
A superintendent in Texas must also hold and maintain a valid principal certificate or its equivalent. This certificate must be issued by the Texas Education Agency or its equivalent in other states or countries. Most school boards will also require their superintendents to have two to five years' experience in school administration. This experience might be as a principal, assistant principal or curriculum administrator. A basic requirement before becoming a school administrator is several years of teaching experience in the classroom.
Candidates for the superintendent certificate must also successfully complete the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES) Superintendent Test. This exam covers three domains: leadership of the educational community, instructional leadership and administrative leadership.
Preparing to become a superintendent in Texas is a challenging and exciting process that ideally will prepare an educator to excel in leadership and administration. The superintendent certificate programs offered in the state involve both coursework and fieldwork designed to equip future superintendents with the background and skills necessary to be an excellent chief administrator of a school district.
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