Principal Licensure: Requirements for Completing Principal Licensure

Published Sep 09, 2009

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Teachers who are looking for career advancement opportunities may want to consider becoming a Principal. While licensing requirements vary, Principals at public schools typically need to earn a master's degree to obtain a license. Read on to find out more about the requirements for completing Principal licensure.

Job Overview for of a Principal

Principals manage the operations of an elementary, middle or secondary school. They prepare budgets, hire teachers and staff, approve acquisition and allocation of supplies, oversee curriculum development and set school policies. They work with assistant principals and other staff to maintain discipline and manage various areas of the school, such as the cafeteria. Principals also play a public relations role and interfacing with district administrators, community members, students and parents. Other duties include keeping a school compliant with state and federal standards.

Education Requirements for Principal Licensure

Principals often start as teachers before moving into administrative positions. In public schools, principals are required to earn a graduate degree, such as a Master in Educational Leadership or a Master in Education Administration. Programs are offered at many college and universities as well as through online institutions. Programs generally last two years and cover school law and policy, finance and budgeting, curriculum development, evaluation, public relations, counseling psychology and research methods.

Completing Principal Licensure

Licensing requirements for Principals vary by state. Most states require a master's degree or some graduate study and require Principals to pass a licensing exam. States may also require Principals to earn continuing education credits in order to keep skills current. Individuals should check with their state's board of education for specific requirements. Links to each state's board of education can be found through the American Association of School Administrators website, www.aasa.org. Principals at private schools may not be required to obtain a license.

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