AASA, University of Southern California Rossier School of Education Launch Urban Superintendents Academy


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Partnership to Offer Urban Superintendent Preparation and Certification

Alexandria, Va. – May 26, 2015 – In an effort to diversify and strengthen America’s field of public school administrators, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has joined with University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education to launch a partnership to create more pathways for underrepresented educators to become school district leaders. The national program’s goal is to prepare superintendents for the demands of the urban environment and address the reality that less than 5 percent of our nation’s superintendents are persons of color.

Today’s announcement builds on the momentum generated by AASA and Howard University, who recently announced a similar effort to offer a campus-based program for urban superintendent preparation and certification. The USC Rossier model will build on the school’s its great success in online programs, offering live synchronous and asynchronous online courses. The program will include in-person immersion sessions and mentoring by local superintendents, wherever the student is based.

The Urban Superintendents Academy draws on the unique resources from these two universities to foster more role models and educational leaders for children in school districts nationwide.

“AASA is pleased to serve as the umbrella organization for our Urban Superintendents Academy, an initiative that forges partnerships with two significant historical universities working for a common cause,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “Minority children need champions. The resources generated by USC Rossier and Howard will be invaluable as we prepare aspiring superintendents for urban environments.”

“USC Rossier’s mission to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally and globally is well served by this new partnership,” said Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher. “Rossier has a long and successful history of preparing diverse superintendents for leadership roles in our most challenged K-12 districts and we are proud to join forces with AASA to extend this critical effort.”

The AASA-USC Rossier program will feature:

  • Small cohorts (20) of superintendents who will learn through an online approach;
  • Content designed specifically for the existing and emerging urban environments across the United States;
  • Mentors and program facilitators; and
  • An AASA/ USC Rossier certificate following successful completion of a capstone project. 

Maria Ott, professor of clinical education, is serving as USC’s lead faculty member for the AASA/USC Rossier Urban Superintendents Academy. For more information, contact Mort Sherman, AASA superintendent-in-residence, at msherman@aasa.org or Colleen Dietz, USC program administrator, at cdietz@rossier.usc.edu. In addition, please visit the website at http://aasa.org/urbansuperintendent.aspx.


About the USC Rossier School of Education 
The USC Rossier (ross-EAR) School of Education is part of the University of Southern California, one of the world’s leading private research universities. The mission of the USC Rossier School of Education is to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally and globally. Rossier leads the field in innovative, collaborative solutions to improve education outcomes. Its work is field-based, in the classroom, and online, and reflects a diversity of perspectives and experiences. 

 About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.