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Educational Leadership Program Key to Looming Expertise Shortage

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With nearly three-quarters of school principals expected to retire by 2011, Binghamton University is helping New York State prepare for the looming gap in expertise by offering a new educational leadership program.

The Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in educational leadership is expected to help address the shortage by offering promising teachers an opportunity to develop the skills they need to be school and school district leaders.

A one-and-a-half- to two-and-a-half-year post-master’s degree program, the CAS program will help prepare educational leaders to serve in pre-K-12 schools and school districts. Successful completion of the CAS and other state requirements will allow Binghamton University to recommend qualified students to the State Education Department for administrative certifications as school building leaders and/or school district leaders.

“This program addresses critical needs to enhance the pool of high-quality candidates to fill anticipated vacancies in elementary and secondary school leadership roles,” said Marilyn Tallerico, coordinator of the program and professor in the School of Education. “There will be ample opportunities for our graduates to be employed.”

The 32-credit certificate focuses on instructional leadership, vision and change, and technical skills. Students are able to choose electives from relevant courses offered in Binghamton University’s School of Management, the master’s in public administration program, or elsewhere on campus. And it is this focus that sets the CAS program apart from other kinds of leadership training.

CAS student Michael Friga evaluated a variety of programs available in the region before concluding that Binghamton’s CAS would best meet his needs. A special education professional development coordinator for the Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Counties BOCES Region, Friga is hoping that the CAS program will allow him to continue professionally as a school district leader.

“I am very satisfied with my ability to influence teaching and learning in my current position,” said Friga. “However, I suspect that eventually I will seek a more direct role in influencing both practices and policy in a school system. My CAS training will allow me to have that kind of choice.”

Fellow CAS student Barry Derfel, after consulting with a number of Tallerico’s former students, enrolled in the program in order to meet his goal of becoming a principal or other administrator in the Ithaca City School District.

“This program provides meaningful and grounded analysis of schools and school systems,” he said. “And it is this analysis that I hope will make me a more effective educator.”

According to Tallerico, it is vital that school leaders be informed about the latest research, know what works in classrooms, and understand current ideas about best practices.

“Leadership matters to student learning and to teacher development,” said Tallerico. “It’s not a matter of just improving test scores but central to the development of well-rounded children.”

For more information, visit the Binghamton University School of Education online at or contact Tallerico at

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 administration  New York  courses  shortages  K-12  graduates  instructors  experts

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