PULLMAN, Wash. — The preparation program for school superintendents at Washington State University is known nationally as an exemplary model program.

According to Joseph Schneider, deputy executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, “WSU’s program successfully combines high scholarship with practical application. When AASA puts out the list of the exemplary superintendent preparation programs in the United States, WSU is always included. It is one of the six top schools in the U.S. for preparing superintendents.”

George Peterson, associate director of the University Council for Educational Administration, is featuring WSU’s program in the September 2002 issue of the “UCEA Review” journal. “The focus of the WSU program on the problems of practice and on extensive mentorship and internship are elements of a model program in the preparation of school leaders,” he said.

WSU’s program is preparing well-qualified educational leaders to meet the challenge of the expected future shortage of school superintendents in Washington.

According to the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction of Washington in a report released July 30, more than one-third of Washington’s school superintendents are expected to retire in the next five years.

Dennis Ray, associate professor of educational leadership and director of the WSU superintendent certification program, said that WSU is preparing the state’s future superintendents now to fill those positions. Ray’s program annually graduates 25 students, which is about two-thirds of the superintendents entering the profession and earning certification every year in Washington.

In the OSPI report, “Educator Supply and Demand in Washington,” 37 percent of school superintendents are eligible for retirement in the next five years. There are approximately 292 school superintendents in Washington.