Is there an alternative route to initial certification?

School Leader Certification and Preparation Programs

Is there an alternative route to initial certification?

April 2018

 
  • CAEP: The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) serves as a national accrediting body for educator preparation programs. CAEP was formed in 2013, with the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).
  • NASDTEC: The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement facilitates license reciprocity in states which have signed the agreement. The agreement outlines which forms of licensure will be accepted by the 'receiving state' and under what conditions. 
  • ISLLC/PSEL Standards: The Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards are nationally recognized school leadership standards first developed in 1996 and revised in 2008 and 2015. The 2015 version of the standards was renamed Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL).   
  • ELCC Standards: The Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) Standards are nationally recognized educational leadership program standards. These standards were revised in 2018 and renamed The National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Program Recognition Standards.

The data included in this 50-state comparison is specific to school leader preparation program and certification requirements. There may be additional requirements that are not indicated. For additional information, questions or comments, please contact Deven Scott at dscott@ecs.org
 

Is there an alternative route to initial certification? Citation/Source
Alabama There are two alternative routes to certification:

Special Option: A candidate who holds an Alabama Class A Professional Educator Certificate and meets other program admission requirements may be able to complete a reduced-hour preparation program. At least 18 semester hours of credit for instructional leadership courses are required and programs must include either field or clinical experience.

Interim Employment Certificate In An Area Of Instructional Support (previously the Special Alternative Certificate): A superintendent or administrator may employ a candidate who is completing requirements for certification in instructional leadership at the class A level through an Alabama-approved Class A program at an Alabama institution.
Ala. Admin. Code 290-3-3-.48
Alaska No state policy found. However, the commissioner may issue a non-renewable, Provisional Administrative Certificate (Type B) to an in-state or out-of-state applicant who has completed all necessary requirements, except for coursework requirements. A candidate with a provisional certificate may receive a full administrative certification upon completing the required coursework within two years. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 4, § 12.345
Arizona The state board of education must allow for a variety of alternative administrator preparation programs with variations in program sequence and design to seek program approval. State policy provides additional requirements. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-203
Arkansas The state department of education may approve alternative educator preparation programs. In addition, state policy allows the state board of education to promulgate rules for alternative educator preparation programs including, but not limited to, a leader academy, a residency program at a public school and professional work experience. State policy provides additional requirements.

Note: The state department of education is currently developing a residency program for administrators.
Ark. Code Ann. § 6-17-409

Source
California As an expedited alternative, the commission may issue a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential to a candidate who does not complete a specialized and professional preparation program in administrative services or an intern program in administrative service, if he/she receives a passing score on the California Preliminary Administrative Credential Examination. Cal. Educ. Code § 44270.5

Cal. Code Regs. tit. 5, § 80054
Colorado A school district may employ an individual as principal who does not hold a principal license, but has received a Principal Authorization from the state department of education. The employing school district must collaborate with the candidate in designing an individualized alternative principal program, which the candidate must complete while employed under the authorization. State policy provides additional requirements. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22-60.5-305.5
Connecticut An approved public or independent institution of higher education, a local or regional board of education, a regional educational service center or a private, nonprofit teacher or administrator training organization may seek approval to offer alternative route to certification programs for school administrators. State policy provides additional requirements. Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 10-145p 
Delaware State policy allows a candidate for certification the option to complete a school principal course of study. The school principal course of study has lessened graduate level credit hours and clinical hours, however must be completed under the mentorship of a currently employed effective or highly effective building-level administrator.

In addition, the secretary of education may, upon the written request of the superintendent of a local school district/charter school administrator, review credentials submitted on an individual basis and issue a Standard Certificate to a candidate who otherwise does not meet necessary requirements, but whose effectiveness is documented by the requesting local school district/charter school administrator.
14 Del. Admin. Code 1595

14 Del. Admin. Code 1505
District of Columbia The state-only post-bachelor's accreditation and program approval is an accreditation pathway for institutions, agencies and organizations seeking to prepare post-bachelor's, non-degree teacher and administrator candidates for positions in DC schools. It is anticipated that these programs will be accelerated in nature. Source
Florida School districts may seek approval to offer a school principal preparation program to current employees working in a leadership position and who hold a master’s degree in an area other than educational leadership. State policy provides additional requirements. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 6A-5.081
Georgia Approved educator preparation program providers may seek approval to offer alternative educational leadership programs. State policy provides additional requirements. Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 505-3-.76
Hawaii Institutions of higher education or other independent alternative certification programs may seek approval to offer alternative certification programs for administrators. State policy provides additional requirements. Haw. Code R. 8-65-9
Idaho No state policy found.
Illinois An alternative route for administrative certificates exists for National Board Certified Teachers. State policy provides additional requirements. 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/21-5e
Indiana No state policy found.
Iowa No state policy found. However, at an employer's request, a non-renewable class B license may be issued to a candidate if he/she holds a valid Iowa teaching license, has completed at least 75 percent of the endorsement requirements and meets work experience requirements. Iowa Admin. Code r. 282-18.8(272)
Kansas No state policy found. However, state policy does allow for innovative and/or experimental preparation programs. 
Kentucky The university-based alternative route allows for the completion of an approved preparation program while employed in a school district. A candidate receives a temporary provisional certificate and must participate in the Kentucky Principal Internship Program. The candidate is required to complete all licensure requirements within two years. 16 Ky. Admin. Regs. 9:080

Source
Louisiana There are three alternative routes to certification that all require the candidate to hold, or be eligible to hold, a valid Louisiana Type B or Level 2 teaching certificate or have a comparable level out-of-state teaching certificate and three years of teaching experience in his/her area of certification and meet assessment requirements.

Alternate Pathway 1: Candidates who already hold a master's degree from a regionally-accredited institution and who meet competency-based requirements through completion of an individualized program of educational leadership from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education may be eligible for certification through this route.

Alternate Pathway 2: Candidates who already hold a master's degree in education from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education and have 240 hours of more of leadership experience at the school and/or district level may be eligible for certification through this route.

Alternate Pathway 3: Candidates who already hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education, who demonstrate strong knowledge of instruction through a rigorous screening process by an approved program provider and who complete a competency-based educational leader practitioner/residency preparation program from a state-approved private provider or a regionally-accredited institution of higher education may be eligible for certification through this route.
28 La. Admin. Code Pt CXXXI, 705
Maine Candidates may satisfy preparation requirements through equivalent coursework/training experiences or through successful completion of the School Leaders Licensure Assessment. Code Me. R. tit. 05-071 Ch. 115, Pt. II, § 4
Maryland In addition to the three preparation pathways available to obtain an Administrator I Certificate, candidates may be eligible for a Resident Principal Certificate upon recommendation by a local superintendent and meeting other specified requirements. A candidate holding a Resident Principal Certificate who holds master's degree may obtain an Administrator II Certificate after at least four consecutive years of satisfactory job performance under this certification. Md. Code Regs. 13A.12.04.05
Massachusetts In addition to the master's degree pathway, a candidate may fulfill the preparation requirement through a 500 hour administrative apprenticeship/internship with a trained mentor or receive approval through a panel review. The panel review option is limited to candidates who hold a master's degree in management/administration and have three full years of employment in an executive management/leadership, supervisory or administrative role. 603 Mass. Code Regs. 7.09
Michigan An established state professional organization may seek approval to offer an alternative route school administrator preparation program that meets state board-approved P-12 building-level administrator standards. State policy provides additional requirements. Mich. Admin. Code R 380.105
Minnesota A preparation program that is an alternative to a graduate program in education administration for public school administrators may be offered at a school district, group of schools or an education district affiliated with a postsecondary institution that has an approved graduate program in educational administration for public school administrators. State policy provides additional requirements. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 122A.27
Mississippi The state board of education may establish a non-traditional route for licensing administrative personnel. State policy provides additional requirements. The Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality School Leadership Program is currently the approved program being offered for alternative administrator certification. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-3-2

Source
Missouri An institution of higher education that has a state-approved traditional professional education program that prepare candidates for a Missouri certificate of license to teach may also offer innovative or alternative programs. State policy provides additional requirements. Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 5, § 20-400.320
Montana No state policy found. However, candidates that meet all other requirements but have not completed coursework in Montana school law or those who hold an unrestricted, expired out-of-state administrator license and have not earned six semester credits of college coursework from a regionally-accredited college or university, within the last five years, may qualify for a provisional license.

In addition, state policy allows for innovative and/or experimental preparation programs. 
Mont. Admin. R. 10.57.430

Source
Nebraska No state policy found. However, a provisional, conditional and temporary license may be issued to administrator candidates who meet specified requirements and/or are in the application approval process. NDE Rule 21.004.09

NDE Rule 21.006.02

NDE Rule 21.008.02
Nevada An institution of higher education or any other provider may seek approval to offer an alternative route for the licensure of administrators. State policy provides additional requirements. Nev. Admin. Code 391.461
New Hampshire An Alternative 3A License may be issued to candidates who undergo a rigorous portfolio and oral examination process to ensure they have gained necessary competencies, skills and knowledge required for certification in an administrator role through a means other than the completion of an approved educator preparation program. State policy provides additional requirements. NH ADC ED 602.14
New Jersey No state policy found. However, the commissioner may approve, on a case-by-case basis, an individual to serve as an acting administrator that does not hold the proper certification if the district proves there is a good and sufficient reason for doing so. N.J. Admin. Code § 6A:9B-13.1
New Mexico A candidate may be eligible for alternative administrator licensure without completing an administrator preparation program by holding a master's degree or higher and having at least six years of administrator experience at the post-secondary level. Candidates must also complete an internship of at least one full school year while holding an Administrator Internship License and working as an administrator in a school district, charter school, private school or state agency education program. Upon completion of the internship, a candidate may be issued an Alternative Level 3-B Administrator License. N.M. Admin. Code 6.60.3.9
New York No state policy found. However, a candidate in a registered or approved graduate education leadership program that includes an internship experience who has completed at least half of the hour requirement for the program, may, at the request of the institution, be issued an internship certificate. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 8, § 80-5.9
North Carolina No state policy found. However, state policy does allow for innovative and/or experimental preparation programs. 
North Dakota No state policy found. However, a provisional credential may be issued to a candidate who does not meet necessary requirements for a professional credential. The candidate is expected to progress toward meeting all requirements. N.D. Admin. Code 67-11-02-03

N.D. Admin. Code 67-11-07-03
Ohio There are two alternative routes to certification:

A one-year alternative principal license, valid for serving as principal or assistant principal, must be issued at the request of the superintendent, school district, educational service center or chartered non-public school to a candidate with specified qualifications. The employing school district must provide a mentoring program.

A candidate may also be eligible for a five-year Professional Principal License by completing the "New Leaders for Ohio Schools" program.
Ohio Admin. Code 3301-24-11

Ohio Admin. Code 3301-24-10
Oklahoma Candidates may be issued a standard certificate upon completion of an alternative administrator preparation program. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 6-189
Oregon An unconventionally qualified applicant, determined based on professional skills, who has not completed an administrative preparation program may be issued an Exceptional Administrator License at the discretion of the commissioner of education and may be renewable upon meeting commission-assigned requirements. Or. Admin. R. 584-080-0161

Source
Pennsylvania The state department of education may issue an Administrative Provisional I Certificate if a candidate meets specified requirements and provides verification of an offer of employment as a principal, vice/assistant principal or vocational director from a Pennsylvania public school. Within two years of employment, the provisional certificate holder must achieve a passing score on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment and either 1) complete an approved administrator preparation program or 2) complete an Introductory Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Induction Program. Source
Rhode Island An institution of higher education, a professional organization or a private service provider may seek approval to offer an alternative educator preparation program for candidates who serve as teachers of record while completing the approved program. Teachers of record, as defined, includes administrators.

In addition, candidates who have not been prepared in a state-approved preparation program may be eligible for licensure through a credential review.
R.I. Code R. 21-2-47

Source
South Carolina A Tier 1 Alternative Route for Career Changers certification for elementary or secondary school principal or supervisor may be issued to a candidate meeting specified requirements who receives a recommendation from the superintendent of a South Carolina public school district. S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 43-64
South Dakota A candidate in the process of completing administrator certification requirements while employed as an administrator in a public or department-accredited school may receive a principal administrator alternative certification. S.D. Admin. R. 24:28:15
Tennessee No state policy found.
Texas No state policy found.
Utah The board may grant an Education Leadership License to a candidate for exceptional professional experience including non-education experience, exceptional education accomplishments or other noteworthy experiences or circumstances.

In addition, a local education agency (LEA) may request an LEA-specific competency-based Education Leadership License for a candidate who holds a master's degree or higher and receives a passing score on the board-approved education leadership test.
Utah Admin. Code r. R277-505
Vermont A candidate who holds a master's degree or higher may be eligible for certification by completing an alternate preparation process approved by the standards board. 7-1 Vt. Code R. § 13:5330
Virginia There are two alternative routes to certification:

Route 1 is restricted to the Virginia school division in which the school superintendent submitted the recommendation for endorsement. The candidate must have completed graduate coursework in school law, evaluation of instruction and other areas of study required by the employing Virginia school superintendent.

Route 2 has a more stringent graduate coursework requirement and is not restricted.
8 Va. Admin. Code 20-22-590
Washington No state policy found. However, an Emergency Certificate qualifies a principal candidate for employment if the school cannot find a regularly certificated principal and if the candidate has at least a master’s degree and has substantially completed a principal preparation program. Wash. Admin. Code 181-79A-231
West Virginia No state policy found. However, provisional and temporary administrative certificates may be issued to candidates who have not met specified requirements.

In addition, state policy allows for innovative and/or experimental preparation programs. 
W. Va. Code R. 126-136-10
Wisconsin No state policy found. However, under certain conditions, the state department of education may issue a one-time renewable one-year license to serve as an administrator to a person who does not fully meet the requirements.

In addition, state policy allows for innovative and/or experimental preparation programs. 
Wis. Admin. Code PI § 34.32
Wyoming No state policy found. However, applicants who are hired by a local school district as an administrator who do not hold full licensure may apply for an exception authorization.

In addition, state policy allows for innovative and/or experimental preparation programs. 
Wyo. Admin. Code ch. 5 § 1

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