The Certificate in Principal Preparation is designed for educators who hold a master’s degree and are interested in adding administrative certification. The certificate-only program prepares aspiring school administrators with current scientific research, pedagogy, and instructional technology through a series of seven educational leadership courses. Students are empowered to maximize school effectiveness and improve supervision and leadership skills in diverse P-12 school settings. Students will develop the strategies required to lead for learning, including creating a school-wide vision and using data to inform decision-making. The program is aligned to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) for effective leadership and is designed to create culturally aware and competent administrators.
- Collaboratively lead, design, and implement a school mission, vision, and process for continuous improvement that reflects a core set of values and priorities that include data use, technology, equity, diversity, digital citizenship, and community.
- Understand and demonstrate the capacity to advocate for ethical decisions and cultivate and enact professional norms.
- Develop and maintain a supportive, equitable, culturally responsive, and inclusive school culture.
- Evaluate, develop, and implement coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, data systems, supports, and assessment.
- Engage families, community, and school personnel in order to strengthen student learning, support school improvement, and advocate for the needs of their school and community.
- Improve management, communication, technology, school-level governance, and operation systems to develop and improve data-informed and equitable school resource plans and to apply laws, policies, and regulations.
- Build the school’s professional capacity, engage staff in the development of a collaborative professional culture, and improve systems of staff supervision, evaluation, support, and professional learning.
- Conduct, synthesize, and apply research to promote the current and future success and well-being of each student and adult in the school.
Course List (21 Total Semester Credits)
Internship Requirements for State Licensure
The Educational Leadership internship experience will be fully documented in a 10-week course designed to allow students the opportunity to engage in a variety of field experiences to enrich their professional growth, skills, knowledge, and attributes as school leaders. Students will apply academic learning to practice in the field and display competency through a series of projects. Details and requirements related to the experiences may be found in the Internship Toolbox in Student Commons. Students will receive a failing grade if the requirements of the internship are not completed by the end of the course. Those students will be re-enrolled in the internship course and will be required to pay all associated tuition and fees.
The Educational Leadership program’s internship requirement is a minimum of 120 clock hours, regardless of the requirements for the state in which the student intends to seek licensure. The Ohio approved ACE M.Ed. in Educational Leadership version requires an internship of 200 clock hours. If candidates seeking licensure in other states need to complete additional hours to meet requirements for licensure reasons, they can request additional hours to be evaluated through submitting a request form.
Location of School-Based Internships, Field Experiences, and/or Student Teaching
Internship, student teaching, and/or field experience activities are designed to be compatible with the US school system. In order to best support students, ensure appropriate supervision and equivalent experiences, students must complete all field experiences and/or internship activities in the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Students with special circumstances (such as working at a Department of Defense School) may apply for a Clinical Experience Exception Approval.
American College of Education does not offer visas or other types of work permits. Securing any necessary authorization is the responsibility of the student. All admitted students must be eligible to work within and agree to complete all requirements in the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Clinical Experience Exception Approval Process
Clinical experience is defined as any required experience in a school setting including field experiences, internships, and/or student teaching. Students in special circumstances may seek approval to complete their internship, student teaching and/or field experiences outside of the jurisdictions listed above. Special circumstances include, but are not limited to, Department of Defense schools or American-based international schools. Students may not enroll in a course with an internship, student teaching, and/or other field experience component without being granted prior approval for the field experience location by the appropriate department through the process outlined in the applicable handbook.
Students are required to inform the College should their clinical experience location change at any point during the academic program.
Professional Licensure, Certification, or Endorsement
The requirements for professional licensure, certification, endorsement, salary increase, and related employment benefits vary from state to state and district to district. It may be necessary for candidates seeking such benefits to satisfy additional state or district specific requirements. The College neither implies nor guarantees that the completion of an American College of Education degree or certificate program will result in eligibility for licensure, certification, endorsement, salary increase, or related employment benefit. Prospective students are strongly advised to verify the benefit(s) for which they may be eligible upon completion with their state’s licensure agency prior to enrolling in an American College of Education degree or certificate program.
- This program is designed to prepare students for eligibility for principal/building administrator licensure or endorsement.
- This program has been approved as meeting the principal/building administrator licensure requirements in the states of Arizona, Indiana, and Ohio.
- This program does not prepare residents of Georgia for principal/building-level administrator licensure. Residents of this state will be required to sign an acknowledgment form to that effect upon application to the program.
- Check availability in your state on the Programs by State section of the ACE website.