Post-master's Principal Certificate

Certificate Coordinator

Dr. Jane Beese
4105 Beeghly Hall
(330) 941-2236

The Principal Certificate program is for candidates who already hold a Master’s degree in an educational field other than Educational Administration. Attainment of the Principal Certificate allows the candidate to pursue the state Principal License.

The Principal Certificate program prepares reflective administrative practitioners who are capable of providing culturally responsive, vision-driven, managerial, and instructional leadership in public and nonpublic school settings.

In addition to completing the certificate program, candidates must satisfy any other state department of education requirements for the license they seek. Typically, these include, among other requirements, passing the state licensure examination and two or more years of successful experience under a standard teacher or pupil service license.

Additional coursework is provided which leads to:

  • Ohio administrative licensure as elementary principal for ages 3 through 12;
  • middle school principal for ages 8 through 14;
  • secondary principal for ages 10 through 21;
  • ad­ministrative specialist in curriculum, instruction, and professional development; and
  • superintendent.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the minimum College of Graduate Studies admission requirements, Principal Certificate applicants should submit the following:

  • Evidence that the applicant already holds a Master’s degree in a educational field other than Educational Administration.
  • A graduate grade point average of 3.0 or above.
  • For applicants with an graduate grade point average between 2.50 and 2.99, satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination or on the Miller Analogies Test.
  • The names and contact information (address, phone number, and email address) for three professional references.

Certificate Requirements

A minimum of 24 semester hours is required for the certificate. In addition to the following Principal Certificate courses, students must successfully complete a com­prehensive examination covering the Principal Certificate core courses listed under Special Notes.

Principal Certificate

Introduction to School Leadership and Educational Organizations 

This program introduces students to the realities of school leadership, providing them a broader vision and deeper understanding of educational policy and organizations and the role of the school leader in promoting effective instruction and continuous school improvement. It begins to transform their perspectives from that of a person in a field related to education to one of an administrator. Other courses develop leadership knowledge and skills specific to building level operations, focusing on the role of principal in relation to staff and community, school safety and the administration of discipline, support programs and services for students with disabilities,  and how legal and fiscal considerations shape and influence administrative decision making and the exercise of leadership.   

Students must complete a minimum of 24 hours satisfying the following distributional requirements:

Leadership Courses
EDAD 6915Learning, Teaching, and Instructional Leadership3
EDAD 6933Educational Leadership and Organizational Change3
EDAD 6936Culturally Responsive Leadership3
EDAD 7020Human Resource Leadership3
EDAD 6949Legal and Ethical Issues in Public Administration3
EDAD 6952School Finance and Budget Planning Processes3
Licensure Core
EDAD 7019Special Education Law and Policy2
EDAD 70221-4

Special Notes

Before being granted the certificate, candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive examina­tion covering leadership and administrative specialty courses.

Completion of the minimum number of semester hours indicated for each program and any other Ohio or Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements must be achieved before recommendation for any license. Those seeking initial administrative licensure in the State of Ohio must also obtain a passing score on the state-prescribed administrative licensure exam for the license they seek.

Graduate Faculty

Jane Beese, Ed.D., Professor
Organizational leadership; economics of education; program evaluation

Charles Jeffords, Ed.D., Assistant Professor
Administrative practices; school and community relations; school finance

Karen H. Larwin, Ph.D., Professor
Assessment; research design and methodology; statistics

Nathan Myers, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Learning Outcomes

  1. Mission, Vision, and Improvement: Program completers will be able to “collaboratively lead, design and implement a school mission, vision and process for continuous improvement that reflects a core set of values and priorities” (NELP, 2018, pg. 13).
  2. Ethics and Professional Norms: Program completers will be able to “promote the current and future success and well-being of each student and adult by applying ethical decisions and cultivate and enact professional norms” (NELP, 2018, pg. 15).
  3. Equity, Inclusiveness, and Cultural Responsiveness: Program completers will be able to “develop and maintain a supportive, equitable, culturally responsive and inclusive school culture” (NELP, 2018, pg. 18).
  4. Learning and Instruction: Program completers will be able to “evaluate, develop, and implement coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, supports and assessment” (NELP, 2018, pg. 21).
  5. Community and External Leadership: Program completers will be able to “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” (NELP, 2018, pg. 25).
  6. Operations and Management: Program completers will be able to “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” (NELP, 2018, pg. 28).
  7. Building Professional Capacity: Program completers will be able to “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” (NELP, 2018, pg. 31).
  8. Internship: Program completers will be able to synthesize and apply the above outcomes through substantial, sustained, standards-based work in real school building settings.


National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Program. (2018). National educational leadership preparation (NELP) program recognition standards—Building level. Retrieved from