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K-12 Principal Certification Program

The Principal Certification program educates teacher leaders to increase school achievement in collaborative and comprehensive ways. The program focuses on helping teacher leaders to acquire the knowledge required to improve student achievement from peers, experts, research, and resources. 

The program integrates course-work with a 180 internship in the K-12 school setting. Those seeking a principal certification must be initially certified as a teacher, guidance counselor, librarian, or some other instructional-related professional position in the school prior to engaging in principal certification work. All course content and assessments are aligned with CAEP/ELCC and PIL standards.

 Requirements for Admission

•     Official transcripts from previous colleges or universities 

•     A 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required for admission into the program

•     One of the following:

Instructional I or II teaching certificate     

GRE scores

•     Three letters of recommendation-

- Two of the three letters required must be from the applicant's school principal and school district level administrator.

•     One of the following:

Essay of how principals shape learning in their schools, principals as school change agents and principals as learning outcome specialists.

Portfolio-based on Danielson model which includes:

                                                     Documentation of leadership roles

                                                     Successful teaching experiences

                                                     Education philosophy

                                                    Management philosophy

•     For Admission information, contact Graduate Studies Admissions


Program Requirements

•     Educators may complete coursework toward the principal certificate upon entering the program. However, Five years of satisfactory performance in the area of teaching certification must be completed before applying to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Principal Certification. Applicants can start working on their time during the principal certification program, however, they cannot complete the certificate until five years of successful teaching is documented in their area of certification. This requirement must be verified with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

•     The Praxis Educational Leadership: School Leaders Licensure (6011) must be taken and passed as part of the successful completion of this program

•     24 credit hours of coursework

- 21 credits of core classwork (courses are pre-requisites to internship experience that encompass all four domains)

- 3 credits of an Internship (field hours completed during a capstone semester)

•     Portfolio


Course of Study - 24 Credits

I.   Planning and Preparation: Curriculum - 6 credits

SEU 567: Curriculum in a Standard Aligned System

Examination and critical and theoretical appraisal of curriculum practices now existing in American secondary school, together with the identification and evaluation of current trends.

EDU 541: Supervision and Finance

This course in instructional supervision is designed to provide educational personnel with a theoretical and practical understanding of the various models and approaches to the supervision of instruction.   


II.   Environment - 6 credits

EDU 599: School Leadership in a Diverse Society

This course focuses on the leadership need to improve student learning. The principal is the instructional leader in the building and orchestrates school climate, attitude toward learners and learning and decisions that impact learning.  EDU 599 is offered as a three week blended instruction course held during the summer.

EDU 528: Student Diversity and Critical Pedagogy

Participants in this course undertake a comparative approach to similarities and differences between the U.S. culture and other cultures with the goal of developing cultural understanding and sensitivity of diverse students and families living in the United States. Critical theory, and more specifically strategies and approaches for facilitating a critical literacy in students, will be emphasized in this course.


III.   Instruction - 6 credits

EDU 526: Data-Driven Decision Making

With the current emphasis on accountability and data-driven instruction, this course provides in-service teachers the opportunity to study an area of personal relevance to their classroom and school/institution. It will emphasize the critical role of assessment in the instructional process and the importance of using valid assessments to guide and influence instruction.

SEU 544: Action Research for Teacher Leaders

This seminar is designed for practicing educators and others who are involved in instructional activity. The "state-of-the-art in instructional theory" will be investigated. Considerations will be given to the factors related to effective teaching, teacher credibility and the planning and implementation of a feedback system.


IV.   Professionalism - 7 credits

EDU 562: School Law

This course focuses on the sources of law under which educational policy is developed and implemented, analyze basic legal concepts that are being applied to educational questions, interpret topics which have a direct impact on educators and students and reflect on the law and the responsibilities that accompany legal rights.

EDU 593: Internship

Students select an educational environment with district approval that provides the professional experiences related to the student's administrative goals. Under the supervision of a school district administrator with coordination by a graduate faculty member in the Department of Secondary Education, the student will be complete the major task areas of policy determination, program development, curriculum design, instructional supervision and administrative responsibilities. 

Internship 3 ch - 3 sh  (180 hours of service total)


Courses taught on campus and online