Urban School Leadership Program

The Urban School Building Leadership Program at Niagara University focuses on issues and problems specific to populations and communities' educational needs in metropolitan, inner-city, and related areas. 

Students who complete this program earn New York State Certification as a School Building Leader (SBL), a Niagara University Certificate of Advanced Study, and a College of Education Urban School Leader Designation.

Why join the Urban School Leadership Program?

The Niagara University Urban School Leadership Program utilizes the NELP Standards as a foundation and prioritizes each NELP component with a specific urban leadership focus. 

Urban School Leaders will learn to address:

  1. Persistently low student achievement.
  2. A lack of instructional coherence.
  3. Inexperienced teaching staff.
  4. Poorly functioning business operations.
  5. Low expectations of students.

Program Model 

The 15 person cohort begin their studies during the fall semester each year. Candidates take six credits per semester over four semesters (fall, spring, summer, fall).  Classes meet once per week for fourteen weeks, online via synchronous video conferencing, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

Admission Requirements/Application Deadline

Admission to the Niagara University Urban School Leadership Program is competitive. Candidates are accepted preliminarily based upon graduate GPA, letter of intent, recommendation, and support from their school district. Program faculty may require writing samples for final acceptance. Admission prerequisites include:

  • An education-related master's degree of at least 36 credit hours
  • At least three years teaching, pupil personnel service, or educational leadership experience
  • A course in research and statistics (can be part of first masters or can be supplemented while taking the program.
  • Partnership Agreement with a school district
The deadline for Fall admissions is July 1.
Successful candidates will be notified by Aug. 1.

Due to the specific focus of the Urban Leadership Program, there are no transfer credits awarded. The full 24 credit hours is required.


Dr. James Mills
Chair, Leadership Studies Department
Coordinator Educational Leadership