The following examples illustrate possibilities for collaboration, communication, and coordination between and among program providers and districts in a CASC Induction program.

Developing a Comprehensive and Productive Partnership Between Program Provider and District

This View from the Future outlines responsibilities and benefits for each of the partners in a district-program collaboration. It concludes with reflection questions for contemplating induction program design.

ABC Program Provider would like to approach XYZ School District to formally collaborate on an induction program for administrative candidates. In preparation for the meeting with the district, the program has identified concrete and specific examples for the collaboration that would be outlined in a Memo of Understanding (MOU) between the two partners. The four categories of collaboration the provider has identified are: Reciprocity, Communication, Candidate Assessment, and Program Feedback. At the meeting, program and district staff brainstormed possible avenues of collaboration. The results are in the tables below.


1. Reciprocity

The benefit of reciprocity outlined in the MOU may include the following:

Benefit to DistrictBenefit to Provider
  • Provide access to a professional clear credential program
  • Access to program candidates for possible recruitment
  • Flexibility to group candidates from the same district in the same cohort
  • Preferential admissions offered to employees of partner districts
  • Professional development access
  • District has a voice in the program design

Recruitment of participants into their program

Logistical conveniences

  • Employer allows candidate flexibility in work duties and hours in service of program participation
  • District personnel can serve as possible coaches
  • District recommends coaching personnel
  • Host location for courses or professional learning activities


2. Communication

The avenues of communication outlined in the MOU may include the following:

F2F MeetingsProgram Specific CommunicationGeneral Communication
  • Advisory Boards feedback
  • Program participation in district-sponsored community meetings
  • Triad meetings between coach, supervisor, and candidate
  • Letters (e.g., candidate's supervisor)
  • Emails
  • Newsletter
  • Media alerts
  • Meeting minutes


3. Candidate Assessment

While the program is ultimately responsible for recommending the candidate for the credential, the members of the program brainstormed the following ways in which the employer might be able to give input into the process:

  • Candidate has the opportunity to share their performance evaluation with the coach
  • Candidate and coach may use employer inputs for goal setting, which may include school or district goals as well as specific job duties assigned by the candidate's supervisor
  • Candidate may share summative assessments with employer (portfolio presentation, etc.)
  • Candidate develops transitional professional learning plan based on the IIP at the end of the program


4. Program Feedback

The ABC Program Provider wants to ensure that there is a continuous feedback loop with the district. In order to ensure continuous improvement of the program, the provider might solicit feedback from the district through the following venues:

  • Site and district feedback via meetings
  • Employer, candidate, and coach surveys
  • Advisory Board meetings
  • Alumni feedback

During the meeting with XYZ district, the items were discussed as well as other possible means of collaboration that were identified. Afterward, the ABC Program captured all items in a multi-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by all parties.


Reflection Questions:


  • In thinking about your CASC program, which of the four categories of collaboration is the strongest area?
  • Which area of collaboration needs the most attention?
  • What are 2-3 ideas to consider for improving this area?
  • With whom do you need to partner to plan and implement these improvements?

Partnership between Urban K-12 District and County Office Induction Program Provider

This View from the Future illustrates a possible solution for an urban district with low teacher and leadership retention rates. The district partners with their County Office of Education to revise their leadership induction program and help candidates feel connected to the district.

  • How an existing program that provides leaders to the district becomes a formal partner for administrator induction
  • The advantages a formal partnership provides for candidates as well as the district and program

Downtown Unified School District (DUSD) is a Title I district serving approximately 25,000 students in a California urban center. 30% of the students are English learners, 57% of the students qualify for the subsidized meals program, and 20% of the students have been identified for special education. For years, the district has suffered from high rates of teacher and leadership turnover that has negatively impacted school climate and student achievement. In response, DUSD initiated a new administrator's professional development program, a series of monthly meetings that focus on connecting new administrators with one department of the district office each session.

To enhance their efforts, DUSD contacts local induction program providers, including the coordinator of a program at the County Office of Education (COE). The COE contact reports that the county program has inducted 25 leaders (10% of all new leaders) in DUSD over the last three years and that they are interested in forming a partnership with DUSD to support more leaders. The COE and DUSD create the following partnership agreement:

The partnership between DUSD and the County Office of Education will provide high quality leader induction to all new site leaders in DUSD by developing a common vision for successful leadership and a comprehensive and integrated program of support.

Through the discussions that focus on the induction program, they create a series of charts that highlight the benefits of the new partnership over previous practices.


Previous Program RecruitmentPrevious Program Recruitment
Detailed information on websiteDetailed information on website
Application reviewed by Program CoordinatorBrochure describing DUSD Program provided by Human Resources for each new leader who signs a contract.
Interviews conducted by Program Coordinator when neededApplications reviewed by Program Coordinator and DUSD designee.
Leaders pay full tuitionLeaders pay reduced tuition due to a special scholarship fund negotiated between DUSD and the program provider. Terms of the scholarship are that the leader must remain a DUSD leader to be eligible for the award.

The partnership provides assistance in the induction program's admissions process by having DUSD inform candidates about the program at the time of hiring.  In addition, the reduced tuition price provides the incentive for employees to opt in to the program.


Previous Induction ProgramDUSD Partnership Program
Provide a coach who is familiar with DUSD context.Provide a coach who is familiar with DUSD context and will participate in selected District Professional Development
Prepare the coach to assume coaching responsibilities (training, orientation)Provide input on the knowledge needed by coaches regarding DUSD practices (for orientation, initial training, monthly meetings)
Program matches coaches and students.DUSD will give input in the coach matching process.
Program hires coaches.DUSD participates in the hiring of coaches.

By working together to provide district-focused professional development for the coaches, the candidates will be better prepared to meet district-specific objectives in addition to the CPSEL expectations. DUSD's involvement in the hiring of coaches will ensure stronger matches for candidates.

Other Professional Learning
Previous Induction ProgramDUSD Partnership Program
Provide facilitator for monthly meetings.Recruit veteran leaders in DUSD to serve as facilitators for monthly meetings.
Provide workshops and speaker series.Identify DUSD professional learning options that can count for Induction activities.
DUSD allows participants in the previous induction program to attend DUSD sponsored sessions in an effort to attract additional leadership talent from the surrounding area.
Provide opportunities to participate in visits to other school sites across the area.Identify DUSD schools that can host visits at their school site
Candidate delivers final portfolio presentation to the coach and Program Coordinator to share major growth in leadership competencies.Candidate delivers final portfolio presentation to the coach, Program Coordinator, and DUSD Coordinator or designee, to share major growth in leadership competencies.
District determines completion.District provides input regarding completion.

Involvement by DUSD in selecting and providing the CASC program curriculum will help to make stronger connections between work and the induction program for the new leader. It will also provide more opportunities for professional networking between both veteran and novice leaders within DUSD.  Finally, DUSD will also have the opportunity to showcase its professional development strengths to new leaders in the surrounding area which might help recruit additional leadership applications in the future.

After two years of the partnership, the first group of induction candidates successfully completes the program. 80% decide to stay in the district after attainment of the Clear Administrative Services Credential. Program evaluation results indicate that the candidates feel well supported by DUSD. On the survey, 75% of respondents agree or strongly agree that DUSD invests in their leadership development and 90% of respondents agree or strongly agree that participating in the Partnership Program helped them make professional connections that substantively support their work.


Reflection Questions:


  • In thinking about your CASC program, what adjustments to your induction program could enhance professional connections and help candidates feel supported by the district?
  • What type of collaboration between the program provider and the district could have the greatest impact on retention?
  • What are 2-3 ideas to consider for improving candidate participation and leader retention?

Developing an Inter-agency Partnership to Support Candidates in a Clear Administrative Services Credential (CASC) Induction Program

In this example from the field, a university partners with a school district, engaging in a formal process to develop and implement a new Clear Administrative Services Credential induction program. Notice:

  • Both parties had to be willing to change some long-held assumptions and practices to make the collaboration a success.
  • How the district expanded their concept of "leadership" beyond the formal administrator role.

For over a decade, the University School of Education and the School District had established a positive and ongoing relationship in support of several educational initiatives and programs relating to teaching and leadership. Following the adoption of the new CASC Program Standards, the university's School of Education faculty members approached the district deputy superintendent with a proposal to collaborate on the design and implementation of a new CASC program based upon the CPSEL and framed around the development of Individual Induction Plans (IIPs), candidate coaching, and related professional learning activities.

The deputy superintendent expressed enthusiasm for the university's proposal, as long as it included a comprehensive approach to leadership development in the district. To this end, they established a Planning and Operations Team to be charged with the tasks of developing a CASC induction program design and a mutual contract/agreement that delineated the roles and responsibilities of both partners. With the assistance of an external evaluator, the partners created a program "logic model" that outlined the goals, objectives, outcomes, assessment protocols, timelines, and stakeholder responsibilities for the program. The model provided a "roadmap" that was easy to follow and helped to focus the work of both partners.

The external evaluator also helped the partners develop a set of evaluation questions to further guide program activities and assessment protocols. These two documents essentially became the contract/agreement that formalized the broad parameters of the partnership. More detailed "agreements" emerged as the partners engaged the various tasks of implementing the CASC program (e.g., IIP criteria, coaching selection and training, coaching models, and assessment tools.)

Changing Assumptions

To successfully accomplish the task of designing a new CASC induction program, both partners had to change some longstanding assumptions about administrator credentialing. First, the university faculty realized that they needed to "climb down from the ivory tower" with open minds and a willingness to configure their work around the real-world needs and contexts of the district while simultaneously anchoring program elements to the CPSEL. They had to replace the old "Tier II" curriculum with a coaching-based program supplemented by professional learning activities designed to support and reinforce each candidate's job-embedded requirements and contexts. Importantly, professors had to accept that under the new credential standards, the workplace had become the primary venue for professional learning, rather than the university classroom.

Second, the district committed itself to two new ideas that had either been ignored in the past or considered beyond the scope of district responsibility:

  1. Building the organizational capacity to identify, cultivate, and support leadership talent from within the district.
  2. Accepting partial "ownership" over the credentialing requirements established by the state (e.g., embracing the idea that CASC induction should be a shared enterprise between the program sponsor and employing educational agency).

A New Theory of Action

The Team proposed a theory of action that "leadership should become the dominant metaphor for the workplace in the district." They posed the question: "What would a school look like if each employee did his/her job as if he/she was a leader in the field?" The assumption was that adopting a leadership orientation to the workplace would foster professional mastery, individual initiative, creativity, and a culture of constructivism, self-reflection, and life-long learning. The team initiated a series of professional learning activities that both oriented and trained all school principals in the foundations and methods of professional coaching, not only for CASC candidates, but also for veteran assistant principals who already possessed a clear credential and selected teacher leaders who were being groomed for future school-site administrative positions. Essentially, the district re-imagined the work of school principals from operations managers and instructional leaders to include professional learning facilitators. The district began the process of designing an integrated system that both supported CASC candidates and the broader professional learning needs of all employees.


Reflection Questions:


  • Does each employee in your district have opportunities to demonstrate leadership in their work? How does the district recognize and encourage leadership potential?
  • What are some ways that professional learning for induction candidates can be integrated with other professional learning in the district?
  • What partnerships or collaborations would facilitate an integrated professional learning system that addresses needs of both induction candidates and other staff? How might those collaborations be cultivated and encouraged?

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Updated April 25, 2022