Principal Certification (K-12)
The program, approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), offers dynamic and current practicing and recently administrators as instructors for courses. Currently all courses offered are taught on campus; however, we are striving to have some offered online in the near future.
Classes are typically offered during the evening 5 to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, with class one night per week in the spring semester or fall semester and two nights per week during the summer. Currently all classes are offered on campus with some moving towards online delivery in the near future.
You will select a seasoned (at least three years experience) principal in your district to act as your mentor throughout the program, so during your course work you have a resource to turn for guidance and support. More than 80 percent of assignments are job-embedded and directly related to the practitioner's role as principal.
There is six credits of internship, where you must log 360 hours (PDE regulation) shadowing and working with your mentor. Some of the hours are earned during your coursework through assignments and field work, while other hours are gained in-conjunction with your mentor.
The program provides graduate students with a program of study focused on developing "Instructional leaders: to fulfill the role as elementary, middle, and high school principals. This high quality program meets the need for School Principals who understand and can implement standards-based curriculum, performance assessment, the appropriate use of technology for teaching and management, and current best practices in teaching and learning.
The program includes 24 credits of course work and six credits of field experiences and internship. The majority of the courses are offered in the Department of Educational Studies and Secondary Education.
Faculty use a variety of teaching methods; however, most courses use constructivist teaching practices. Students will complete 120 hours of simulations and field experiences, as well as a 120 hour internship. The appropriate use of technology for administration, teaching, and learning is imbedded within courses throughout the curriculum. Candidates demonstrate the appropriate use of technology through presentations, research, and the use of appropriate software.
Each course includes various forms of assessment appropriate to the course, which might include written tests, research papers, and/or projects. All candidates will prepare a performance assessment portfolio. This portfolio will include artifacts that demonstrate candidates have achieved the knowledge, skills, and dispositions listed in the PDE Specific Guidelines for School Administrator K-12.