San Diego State University, in conjunction with the National Center for Urban School Transformation, is pleased to offer a California Administrative Services Clear Credential program. This exciting program, fully accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, offers novice administrators professional development grounded in the real work of the schools and districts they serve and informed by the leadership, structures, and practices found in America’s highest performing schools.


Our two-year induction program is designed to provide novice administrators with individualized, job-embedded support and guidance through a blended model of one-on-one expert coaching, monthly principals’ network meetings, and rich professional learning opportunities. This combination of supports will offer new leaders both confidential growth opportunities addressing specific learning goals and needs with an experienced leader, as well as opportunities to engage in non-competitive collective learning with peers who are facing similar work situations.

Each novice administrator is assigned an NCUST Executive Coach who will provide one-on-one support and facilitate the network meetings. NCUST Executive Coaches are highly experienced prior school and district administrators that have lead significant change and improvement in schools and districts across the country. They deeply understand leadership challenges and can offer strategies and solutions to support the growth of novice administrators’ abilities to master the California Professional Standards for Educational Administrators. Participants are assigned to a network of up to eight colleagues. Monthly network meetings occur at each of the schools represented by the participants. In this way, participants get to see and experience different schools and learn from colleagues who are also working on implementing effective practices and policies. These meetings are designed to engage participants in identifying an academic goal, creating a plan to achieve that goal, and supporting network colleagues in their efforts to achieve their goals. Instructional rounds are conducted to provide feedback to the novice administrator about the problem of practice at his/her school.

The cost of the two-year program is $6,000 – paid in fees across the two years. This includes your registration in two courses through SDSU’s Open University and quarterly fees for coaching and induction support.


One-on-one guidance provided by an experienced administrator coach.

Clear your California administrative credential at one the nation’s top universities.

Rich opportunities to learn directly from administrators leading high-performing urban schools through attendance at the NCUST America’s Best Urban Schools Symposium and guided visits to NCUST’s award-winning schools.

Job-embedded professional development as novice administrators identify a real problem of practice in their schools/districts, articulate measurable goals for its resolution, and create and implement a plan of action.

Participation in a network with other novice administrators (designed to support leadership growth and development as participants learn from, support, and challenge one another).


I wish we could meet more often!

A blessing.

Priceless!  I enjoy my coaching sessions very much. Cara is personable and knows my school and district well. She has helped me navigate really difficult situations this year and build my professional skills.

I value the opportunity to regularly engage with an experienced, thoughtful, compassionate and challenging educator.

The coaching experience brings clarity and insight on how to improve the work I currently do.  Dr. Peterson facilitates a reflection that allows me to build on my strengths and face challenges with the right mindset and tools.

Networking with others and having GREAT discussions.  I learn so much from everyone else in the cohort and their work.

NCUST Executive Coaches

Rupi Boyd

Rupi Boyd, Ed.D.

Prior to joining NCUST, Dr. Rupi Boyd served as the instructional superintendent of LA’s Promise in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District for 3 years where she was responsible for improving the academic achievement and overall school operations for over 8,000 students.  She is an instructional leader with an unparalleled record of accomplishment in raising student achievement and of turning around low performing schools.  While in Los Angeles, Dr. Boyd drove an aggressive plan to shift the educational outcomes for students who attended West Adams Prep High School, Manual Arts High School, and John Muir Middle School.

Dr. Boyd’s thoughtful instructional-based and comprehensive approach to improvement is combined with building a team of exemplary external supports for the school; close work with the principals to build their instructional, administrative and overall leadership capacities; and ambitious but appropriate and carefully scaffold, professional development for teachers, counselors and others to 

address instruction, climate, data-based decision-making and other key levers for genuine school reform. LA’s Promise schools have seen drastic improvement in all critical areas: decreased suspensions and expulsions, CAHSEE pass rate improvement put both schools in the top five of similar schools,  increased graduation rate,  increased  API by a combined 200 points, and finally the schools saw a drastic increase in attendance rate for students and staff.

In a prior position as Area 3 Superintendent for San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), Dr. Boyd supported and supervised 20 schools with oversight of charter schools within the SDUSD. She participated in developing the district Strategic Plan for Student Achievement, Master Plan for English learners, English-Language Arts and Mathematics curriculum along with SMART goals and benchmark assessments. She served on the district work group to reorganize and restructure special education, streamlining services to students with special needs.

Dr. Boyd received a Bachelor of Science from UC San Diego and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University. She earned her Master of Science in Educational Administration, California Administrative Credential, Teaching Credential and CLAD certification from National University in San Diego. Dr. Boyd served on the English Learner Advisory Committee for California Department of Education. 

Shirley Y. Peterson, Ed.D.

Shirley Y. Peterson, Ed.D.

Shirley Peterson has been an educator for forty-two years serving as an administrator in a large urban school district for thirty-two years. She served as a high school administrator for eighteen years. During two high school principalships – one in a suburban setting and the other, an inner-city school – Dr. Peterson focused on classroom instruction and support programs for under-performing students resulting in lower dropout rates and increased.  In addition, Shirley led the development of a reading program and secured a site grant from the National Science Foundation of $1.2 million to integrate technology into all curricular areas to support the improvement of instruction and student achievement.

During 2003-2005 she worked as a consultant with the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership. Her work there concentrated on coaching principals to improve their instructional leadership, with an outcome of increased academic achievement.

In 2006, she joined the University of San Diego (USD) as a part-time professor in the School of Leadership and Educational Sciences (SOLES). She has also served as a supervisor for aspiring administrators in USD’s Educational Leadership Development Academy (ELDA) and as a coach in the Principals Ongoing Support and Training (POST) program.

Cara Riggs

Cara Riggs

Cara Riggs is a former teacher and principal with a long history of working with underserved urban students and achieving meaningful results. As a principal in Omaha, Nebraska, Cara successfully increased the graduation rate by 20% while also greatly reducing truancy and dropout rates in her school.

She worked with students, parents and community leaders, implementing strategies to improve the culture within her schools with an emphasis on easing transitions between grade levels and increasing college preparedness for all students. Senior scholarships in her school went from two million to ten million dollars in her time there.

As a teacher, Cara taught English, African American Literature and athletics. In 1986 she was awarded “Teacher of the Year” and promoted to “At-Risk Support Teacher” working one-on-one with students in highly challenging life situations including teen parenting, gang involvement, and substance abuse.

In 2012 she published her book, Hope in the Urban Schools: Love Stories which was presented to 500+ new teachers in the Omaha Public Schools to teach cultural proficiency through storytelling. Cara began working as an Executive Coach for NCUST in 2014, lending her many years of experience and dedication to our team.

Granger B. Ward

Granger B. Ward

Mr. Ward began his educational career as a middle school and high school science teacher and eventually served as a high school principal for seven years in Syracuse, NY. He was formerly superintendent of both the Manhattan High Schools in the City of New York and the Grossmont Union High School District in San Diego.

Over the past decade, Mr. Ward has served as the California State Director and then Executive Vice President for the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Center, a national and international educational nonprofit supporting implementation and growth of the AVID College Readiness System impacting students at almost 5,000 schools in their quest to be college and career ready. He attended public schools in New York City and received his B.S. from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in Syracuse. His M.S. degree is from Syracuse University and his administrative credential from SUNY at Oswego.

For more information, please contact:

Karen Jones


5500 Campanile Dr, EBA 332 San Diego, CA 92182-1165