Frequently Asked Questions

Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Educational Leadership _____________________________________________________________________

What is the purpose of the Educational Leadership program?

To prepare educational leaders to serve in PreK-12 schools and school districts. Its target audiences are part-time, post-master’s students who work full-time as teachers or other kinds of educational professionals in PreK-12 schools.

What is a CAS?

CAS stands for Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS). For the Educational Leadership program at Binghamton University, CAS means a post-master’s graduate program. Think of the CAS as graduate-level professional development “in between” a master’s and a doctoral degree. In other states, the equivalent might be called an “educational specialist.”

What will a CAS do for me?

CAS graduates may pursue future employment as staff developers, curriculum coordinators and program directors, as well as positions such as assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. Successful completion of the CAS will permit Binghamton University to recommend qualified students to the State Education Department for either or both NYS administrative certifications: School Building Leader (SBL-Initial) and/or School District Leader (SDL-Professional). Recommendations will depend on students’ accomplishment of program requirements, an internship, leadership experience and performance on state-administered assessments. Students must pass the NYS School District Leader assessment in order to earn the CAS and the University's recommendation for SDL certification.

Is a CAS the same as administrative certification in NYS?

No. Universities cannot award certifications or licenses to serve as teachers or administrators — only New York state can do that. However, the CAS is specifically geared to equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to be eligible to earn two kinds of certification awarded by the state of New York: School Building Leader (SBL) Initial and School District Leader (SDL) Professional. While universities can provide required coursework and other important leadership experiences, you would also have to pass appropriate NYS exams, be fingerprinted, submit evidence of having taken Violence Prevention and Child Abuse Recognition workshops and more when applying separately for NYS certification(s) to serve as an administrator. Note that the University can only award the CAS after you have successfully passed the NYS School District Leader assessment.

How many credits does the CAS require?

32 graduate credit-hours, beyond a completed master’s degree of at least 30 credit hours in a teaching or closely related field. The 32 CAS credit-hours consist of eight (8) four-credit-hour courses, seven of which are prescribed (required) and one of which is an elective, selected in consultation with a faculty advisor assigned upon admission. One of the required courses is an internship, accompanied by a seminar.


Are there program requirements beyond the coursework?

Yes. Consistent with current state regulations, leadership students must also pass the NYS School District Leader assessment and complete a “Personal Plan for Self-Improvement and Continuous Learning.” Information about Personal Plans is also included in the introductory leadership course (EDUC 673.) Find information about NYS Leadership Assessments online.  

What’s required for application and admission to the CAS?

There are both University- and program-specific requirements for CAS applications. Completed applications are welcome anytime: fall, spring or summer.

To be considered for admission to the CAS program you need:

  1. A baccalaureate from an accredited institution of higher education or from an institution authorized by the NYS Board of Regents to confer degrees;
  2. A master’s degree of at least 30 graduate credit-hours in a teaching or closely related field;
  3. A minimum of three years paid, full-time classroom teaching and/or pupil personnel service in PreK-12 public or non-public schools;
  4. A copy of your permanent or professional certification in classroom teaching or pupil personnel service.
Additional admission requirements particular to the Educational Leadership program include:
  1. A personal statement that focuses on: (a) your prior leadership experiences; (b) any special skills or contributions to the field of education; (c) why you wish to pursue administrative leadership certification at this time in your career; and (d) your leadership goals for the future. (Note that these required foci differ from the generic Graduate School instructions. This is an important part of your application. Be as specific as possible, including examples where appropriate. Aim for 3-4 typewritten, double-spaced pages);
  2. Two completed CAS Reference Forms (.pdf, 89kb) from supervisors, school or district administrators who know your work and can assess your accomplishments and leadership potential. (These forms are unique to the Educational Leadership CAS and are required instead of general letters of recommendation); and
  3. A resume that includes complete professional employment history, with dates and locations.
  4. Graduate Record Examination (General Test only) sent to code 2535. Take the GRE in time for an official score report to be the application deadline.
You are also required to follow the University’s established graduate admissions procedures, including:
  • completed application forms
  • application fees
  • official transcripts


May I take a course before being admitted to the program?

Yes. Prospective students often do this to get a feel for whether or not Binghamton’s program would be a good match with their interests and abilities. Such “pilot testing” can be a real benefit. Of course, there is also a risk because successful completion of one or more courses does not ensure admission to the CAS. Various other criteria are considered by the admissions committee, as indicated in the earlier listing of application requirements. For detailed instructions on registering for a course as a non-degree (non-matriculated) student, go to the Graduate School page. Non-matriculated students must also obtain the instructor’s permission to register for any 600-level education course.

What can I do now to prepare for applying to the program?

Be sure you meet the minimum requirements for completed professional experience and teaching/pupil personnel certifications. Begin to gather and prepare the materials required for application and admission (listed above). Consider seeking permission to take a Binghamton University leadership course on a non-matriculated basis, to see if the program might be a good match with your interests and abilities. Contact Jackie Visser with additional questions.

What specific courses are required for the Educational Leadership CAS?

The seven required courses are: 
EDUC 673 - Leadership in Educational Settings
EDUC 672 - Processes of Supervision and Staff Development
EDUC 675 - Planning & Policy Development in Education
EDUC 608 - School Finance and Business Operations
EDUC 609 - Assessment for Student Learning & School Improvement
EDUC 606 - Curriculum Leadership
EDUC 692 - Internship

Additionally, each student will select one elective, in consultation with her/his faculty advisor. Thus, a total of 32 credit-hours will be required, beyond a completed master’s degree of at least 30 credit-hours in a teaching or closely related field. As mentioned earlier, the 32 CAS credit-hours consist of eight (8) four-credit-hour courses, seven of which are prescribed (required) and one of which is an elective. One of the required courses is an internship, accompanied by a seminar.


When are courses offered?

Typically in the late afternoon/evenings. Several required courses are offered only during the summer. Each required course will be offered once each year. Target audiences for the program are part-time students who are employed full-time in PreK-12 schools. The typical annual offering follows, subject to change.

Required Educational Leadership Courses

  Fall Spring
Every Year EDCU 675
EDUC 672
EDUC 673
  EDCU 606
EDUC 608
EDUC 609

How many electives does the CAS allow?

One four-credit-hour elective, to be selected in consultation with your assigned faculty advisor. EDUC 607 (Education Law and Ethics) is a strongly recommended elective, typically offered each summer.

How long will it take to complete the CAS?

The program is structured so students can complete it in just over one year. Duration will depend on the availability of high-quality internships, as well as whether or not students choose to take more than one course in some semesters. The program is tailored to part-time study. Under typical circumstances, we recommend that students take one course per semester.

May I transfer courses from other institutions toward the CAS?

Since Binghamton’s CAS requires just eight courses, transfer-credit approvals will be rare. If you feel your circumstances are unique, contact program coordinator Jackie Visser prior to taking potentially-transferable courses elsewhere.


How, if at all, is the CAS connected to the Graduate School of Education’s doctoral program (EdD)?

Application and admissions procedures for the two programs are completely independent of one another and admission to the CAS program does not ensure admission to the EdD. Interested students must apply to each program separately, and different faculty committees make admissions decisions for the two programs.

However, matriculated Educational Leadership CAS students who are admitted to the EdD may use five of the eight courses required for the CAS towards the EdD program. Since the EdD includes 48 credit-hours of coursework (plus dissertation hours), successful progress in the CAS could mean that a student would be 20 credit-hours ahead toward completing the EdD.

In the reverse direction, all EdD students have room in their programs of study for five (5) elective courses. Matriculated doctoral students are encouraged to discuss with their faculty advisors the possibility of using five of the seven required CAS courses as their EdD electives. The five courses are:
- EDUC 673 - Leadership in Educational Settings
- EDUC 672 - Processes of Supervision and Staff Development
- EDUC 675 - Planning & Policy Development in Education
- EDUC 609 - Assessment for Student Learning & School Improvement
- EDUC 606 - Curriculum Leadership
Individual students must consult with their faculty advisors from both the Educational Leadership CAS and the EdD in Educational Theory and Practice when selecting courses for either program.


To whom should I address further questions about Educational Leadership?

Jackie Visser

How else may I get general information about graduate study at Binghamton University?

You can view application forms and other basic instructions and regulations applicable to many graduate programs at Binghamton University by visiting the University’s Graduate School website. Note that there are several CAS-specific application requirements that supersede the Graduate School’s information. For example, Educational Leadership requires its own completed Reference Forms that are different from generic graduate letters of recommendation. Additionally, the CAS program defines whom those references are to be from, and what the applicant’s personal statement must include, in ways that are distinct from Binghamton University’s general graduate application procedures. Note that currently, GRE scores are required for CAS applicants.

Where can I find more about the NYS School Leadership Assessments?

At the website of National Evaluation Systems, the company NYS has contracted with to administer these assessments. There you will find testing dates, registration deadlines, score report dates, fees and more.

Which NYS assessments should I take and when?

You should take the School District Leader (SDL) assessment in the semester before you expect to graduate because passing this test is a condition for graduation.You must pass the state's SDL test before you can be awarded the CAS by Binghamton University. The other assessments for School Building Leader (SBL) may be taken at any time, before or after earning the University's CAS. As of May 2015, the Educating All Students (EAS) exam is required for both SDL and SBL certifications.

How can I learn about administrative job openings?

Through a free resource available from the State Association of Administrators of New York State (SAANYS).


Last Updated: 4/7/17