In addition to field-based projects and other leadership experiences, CAS students complete a capstone internship. Positioned near the end of the student’s formal academic preparation, the internship provides an opportunity for immersion in the authentic work world of educational leaders. Under the guidance of a University instructor and a field-based supervisor-mentor, students apply and extend the knowledge and skills developed throughout their course of study.


  1. matriculation in the CAS program
  2. at least 18 credit-hours with grades of B or better, including EDUC 673 (Leadership in Educational Settings) and five additional required courses. 
  3. a completed Internship Proposal, including signature indicating approval of field-based supervisor-mentor (a certified administrator). Proposed internships will only be approved if they:
  • include leadership experiences at both the school building and district levels; (working with a mentor, complete a Job Description Form (Building Leader or District Leader) outlining the student's plans for his/her internship).
  • are grounded in the student’s Personal Plan for Self-Improvement; (new  Personal Plan must be attached to the proposal).
  • expand the student's leadership experiences, knowledge and skills (per ELCC Building and District Level Standards).

Important additional information

Students are responsible for finding or creating their own internships. Occasionally, intern opportunities are advertised publicly. However, most are developed through students’ professional networks and individualized negotiations with administrators interested in helping particular candidates advance. Students are encouraged to cultivate contacts and contribute to school leadership and district committee work throughout their programs of study. Such contributions can increase the chances that key advocates will recognize student leadership potential and support their internship proposals.

Format options

Full-time immersion is preferable to part-time or summer internships, for marketability as a future applicant for educational leadership positions. All internships should be structured to provide leadership responsibilities of increasing breadth and depth over time. Overall, the quality of an intern's capstone experience, and its direct connection to NYS competencies for building and district leaders, will be key determinants of any format options approved.

Eligible candidates have four internship format options:

  1. Full time for one semester of the academic year (minimum 15 weeks). The intern works a minimum six-hour block of time during the regular student school day, plus additional time along with the field supervisor beyond regular school hours, as appropriate.
  2. Half time for a full academic year. The intern works a minimum three-hour block of time during the regular student school day, plus additional time along with the field-supervisor beyond regular schools hours, as appropriate.
  3. Half time for one semester of the academic year plus full-time summer (minimum six weeks during the summer.) Full and half time are defined as in #1 and #2 above.
  4. Individually negotiated. This format option is tailored to the needs of the prospective intern and the opportunities available in a particular school district.

Internship course registration

Upon approval of the internship proposal by the program coordinator, students will be permitted to register for and attend a required seminar (EDUC 692) in conjunction with their internships in the field. Part-time interns will register for the seminar in two consecutive semesters at two credits one semester and one credit the next; full timers once at three credit-hours.

While the student is registered for the internship, the student will also be taking the following classes.  These classes are designed to enhance the internship experience and will be completed mostly independently and online.

EDUC 610 - Collaboration with Diverse Stakeholders will have students complete three projects designed to help them learn about the communities their schools serve, the community agencies that serve their students, and school and family communication.

EDUC 611 - Special Program Leadership will allow students to investigate in depth a leadership role that interests them. Students will prepare a case study about that role while completing their internship. Both of these classes will have seminar time which will be coordinated with internship seminars.

Personal plans and internship grading

A final product for the internship seminar is a new Personal Plan. This requirement is a third occasion to reflect, assess leadership competencies and plan for the future. Field supervisor-mentors will complete end-of-internship assessments of students. Additional course expectations and requirements are dependent on the particular instructor responsible for EDUC 692 in any given semester.

Satisfactory-unsatisfactory grades for EDUC 692 will be issued after the entire internship is completed and the third Personal Plan is judged acceptable by the seminar instructor.