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Urban Education Leaders Program
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application deadline for the Urban Education Leaders Program (UELP)?

  • January 2, 2015

Even though my application is not due until January of 2015, can I submit my application now?

  • The online application system (hyperlink to Admissions website) for the 2015-2016 academic year will be available beginning September 2014. The Admissions Office does not hold application materials for more than one year.

When does the next UELP cohort begin?

  • Summer, 2015

Is it a full-time program?

  • No.This cohort program is part-time with courses taking place Monday through Friday during the month of July.   Additionally, students meet once per month on Friday and Saturday during the fall and spring semesters.

Is this an online program?

  • No, however, there is a large distance and technology component, mixed with faculty expertise in cohort construction.

How many credit hours (points) is the Program?

  • The UELP Program is a 90-credit program (with up to 30 transferable credits).

How much will it cost to complete the Program?

  • The cost of the UELP program varies depending on the cost of tuition.  As of summer 2013, the cost of tuition is $1,286 per credit hour (point).

What percentage of students receives financial aid?

  • We believe the UELP Program is cost-effective because it does not require individuals to leave their jobs and therefore students can maintain their source of income.  We also have very high placement rates into full-time administrative positions. The Program has limited funds available to award to new and continuing students.  For more information on financial aid, please click here.  

What percentage of applicants is admitted? 

  • Though we do not publish our acceptance rate, our Program is competitive and accepts approximately 12 students every other year.

How long will it take me to complete the Program?

  • With steady progress, the UELP Program will take approximately five (5) years or less to complete.  Students attend classes for three consecutive years and conclude with their written dissertation and dissertation defense.

How much experience must I have to apply?
  • Applicants must have eight to ten years of teaching/leadership experience or equivalent work experience in order to apply.

What if I don’t have eight to ten years of teaching/leadership experience or the equivalent work experience - can I still apply?

  • Yes, you may apply, but please address in your personal statement why you feel you are qualified with fewer than the requisite years of experience.

I am interested in suburban schools, but the Program is for urban education - can I still apply?

  • The UELP focus is on urban education, therefore, we do not recommend the Program to those interested in suburban education.  You may not gain the suburban education subject knowledge you seek by attending classes focusing on urban education, thus shortchanging your doctoral experience.

Are all of UELP’s students from the New York City area?

  • No.The UELP Program is proud to have a diverse student pool from coast to coast, including the San Francisco Bay area, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., amongst other locations.  The convenient schedule makes it easy for our students to commute to classes in the summertime as well as the weekends and limits days away from their careers.  To view current student profiles, click here.

Why might I prefer a cohort-based Program?

  • Cohort programs offer a group of colleagues to enter and exit the program at the same time, thus allowing a constant group of peers to give support not only regarding curriculum, but also emotionally.  Students have similar goals and often share professional networks.  Most courses in the UELP Program are offered for cohort members only, thus granting smaller class sizes and extra one-on-one attention from faculty members. 

Upon completion of the Program, will I receive a New York State District Level License?

  • Upon completion of the Program, students are eligible to take the NY State SDL Licensure Examination.  For more information regarding licensure, please refer to the NY State Education Department website.  http://www.nysed.gov/

Is it possible to receive my School Building Level (SBL) certificate while in progress to complete the UELP Ed.D. program?

  • It is not possible to obtain your School Building Level (SBL) certificate while enrolled in the UELP Ed.D. program. Students completing the UELP Ed.D. approved teacher preparation program would lead to a School District Leader (SDL)-PROFESSIONAL certificate type.   Students completing the M.A. or Ed.M. with a major in the Summer Principals Academy (code ELBL) are the only individuals with a program code to match the SBL certificate, thus the only ones who could be recommended for an SBL-INITIAL certificate type. TC is only able/authorized to recommend these candidates upon the combined completion of the approved teacher preparation program and after degree has been cleared/conferred by the Registrar's Office.

Are the GRE’s required?

  • Yes.Though viewed as a piece of the overall application, GRE’s are required without exception.  Writing scores of 4.0 and above are recommended.  Please note that ETS will not release scores older than 5 years.  For more information on the GRE’s and how to study, please visit the ETS GRE website.  

How do I apply?

Who do I contact for additional information?

  • Please contact Dr. Brian Perkins, Director, Urban Education Leaders Program at: bp58@columbia.edu for more information.