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What Is the The Ratliff Academy?

The Bill Ratliff Academy for School Executives is one of the oldest state board-approved alternative certification programs for superintendents in the state of Texas. The academy was formed through a partnership between Texas A&M-Commerce University and Region 8 ESC superintendents in 2001. In 2016-2017 Ratliff Academy moved the partnership to Region 8 ESC and Texas A&M-Texarkana. 

Initial grant funding for the program was established by the Texas Legislature in honor of former Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff of Mt. Pleasant, Texas. During his distinguished legislative career, Ratliff was named one of the state's Ten Best Legislators five times by Texas Monthly magazine. He built a reputation for tackling critical issues from public education to the state budget.

The first cohort of students was accepted into the program in 2002-2003. The program is currently in its seventeenth year and has successfully certified close to 400 candidates. Graduates of The Ratliff Academy are leading successful school districts all over the state of Texas and some neighboring states. 

A History of Success

  • The premier alternative superintendent certification program in Texas

  • One of the longest-running alternative superintendent certification programs in Texas

  • Graduates are currently serving as superintendents all over northeast Texas and across the state

  • Steeped in a rich seventeen-year history

  • 98% passing rate for first-time test takers on Supt 195 exam

  • 100% passing rate for 5 out of last 6 cohorts for first-time test takers

  • 12 semester hours of graduate credit applicable toward a doctoral program 

  • A seventeen-year history of over 395 graduates from approximately 150 school districts

  • Co-sponsored by Texas A&M-Texarkana University, a respected university with a long tradition in educator preparation and department of educational leadership

  • Co-sponsored by Region 8 ESC, a highly valued service center experienced in providing quality services for school improvement that focuses on student learning and success

  • Class meetings are conveniently scheduled throughout the school year and summer to minimize the loss of time away from work

  • Cohort model participants develop life-long relationships with like-minded colleagues through multiple face-to-face meetings

  • Access to superintendent search firms

Program Requirements

  • Mid-management certification

  • One year of administrative/supervisory experience

  • Completed application

  • Approval of superintendent

How Do I Apply?

Click here to download the application packet.  

2024-2025 Ratliff Academy Application. Please contact Jeff Clark with questions at or 903-640-6632.

Completed packets should be sent to Jeff Clark:
1st Class Day: Approximately February 15th of each year

Other Information

Where: All meetings are at Region 8 ESC-Pittsburg, Texas

Cost: $600 plus the cost of tuition for 12 graduate hours from Texas A&M-Texarkana (approximately $4,500 total program costs)

Length: 18 months

Contact: Jeff Clark, Director (903-640-6632)

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