Penn State | Online
The graduate certificate in principal certification is a program that prepares teachers and supervisors to take administrative positions and helps candidates meet certification requirements in K–12 educational administration in Pennsylvania. Earning this certificate can qualify you for a position as an assistant principal or principal. At this time, only Pennsylvania-certified educators are eligible to apply for the Graduate Certificate for Principalship. Students who do not currently have (or who will not have by the completion of the program) a minimum of three years of school (teaching) experience should not apply for principal certification.
The program has been evaluated by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) and is in compliance with their current requirements as well as all requirements by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). The program has five important features:
- The principal certification program curriculum is standardized so that all students receive a consistent, high-quality, and uniform education.
- The specific designated courses cover all NCATE and PIL (Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership) standards. All course assignments and student results are aligned with NCATE/ELCC and PIL standards.
- Students maintain an electronic record of their progress throughout the principal certification process. This provides documentary evidence of student proficiency in all ELCC and PIL standard elements, an evaluation of student progress, and an evaluation of program outcomes.
- The program emphasizes and draws upon our faculty's practical and field-based experiences in public and private school settings.
- A 3-credit internship of 360 hours spanning a full calendar year is required. The internship must be under the supervision of an approved on-site mentor principal.
If you are interested in applying for our Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in School Leadership, to be taken simultaneously with the Principal Certification program, please see visit the How to Apply page of the Master's in Educational Leadership.