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You’re already helping to build a better future: You teach. Now serve and lead at a higher level by earning your Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership-Principal Licensure.


Download the Program Sheet
Download the Program Sheet

Combine your passion for education with your talent for leadership. With CSU-Global’s Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership-Principal Licensure*, you can prepare for an assistant principal or principal role in elementary, middle, or high schools—and you can complete your online education leadership principal licensure entirely online, around your busy schedule.

Choose the option that is right for you:

  • You may earn your principal licensure as part of your online Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning from CSU-Global. If you choose this option, your principal licensure program will replace the specialization requirement of the master’s degree program.
  • If you’ve already earned your master’s degree, you can earn your principal licensure as a 24-credit-hour, stand-alone program.

(Students in this certificate program are not required to have completed a master’s degree prior to admission.)

Whichever option you choose, you will learn education theory and high-level leadership techniques as well as the tools to...

  • Coordinate daily school activities.
  • Oversee curricula.
  • Maintain a safe, productive learning environment.

It’s a challenging and rewarding occupation, and CSU-Global is here to help you prepare for a bright future as an effective leader in education.

Principal licensure requirements vary from state-to-state. This program was established and approved based on the State of Colorado standards.

Students are solely responsible for checking what the specific requirements are from their state's Department of Education.

If you want to take the next step in your teaching career, move into administration, or become a principal, the Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership-Principal Licensure can help you reach your goal.

* This certificate is pending final approval from the Department of Education, and is not yet eligible for Title IV funding from the Department of Education.

Admission Requirements

No later than 14 days prior to start of the term, the following documents will need to be uploaded through the student portal:

  • A Vision Statement defining your view of "great school leadership".
  • A Declaration of Eligibility form.
  • A copy of your current teaching license.
  • A complete set of fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency.
  • A resume that provides documented evidence of two or more years of full-time successful experience working as a licensed or certificated professional in a public or non-public elementary or secondary school in the United States, additional professional employment leadership skills, special skills, publications, exhibitions, awards, and service activities.
  • A reference letter completed by a school administrator indicating that you have the skills and disposition to be an effective school leader.
  • Email from the principal of the school where the student is currently teaching documenting that they approve an aspiring leader internship placement of 6 hours per week with a licensed principal or assistant principal.

Talk to your academic advisor for further details and assistance as needed.

Career Outlook

School administration is projected to grow 5-8% from 2014 to 2024 which is slightly above average of all other occupations.

In order to stay competitive in the field without earning a full master’s degree, you need to showcase your skills in a way employers recognize. Quickly and affordably get your graduate certificate at CSU-Global and you could finally land the job you deserve.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school administrators earn an average of $90,410 a year.

As a principal, or administrator, you could be doing any or all of the following:

  • Serve as a disciplinarian to students
  • Assist teachers with student issues
  • Collaborate with parents and stakeholders
  • Offer a listening ear for students, teachers, parents, and fellow administrators
  • Manage teachers and staff for professional growth
  • Act as a marketer for best practices in education
  • Advocate in the local community

With a nationally recognized graduate certificate from CSU-Global employers will know that you’ve got the skills to do any job right.

Not only will you be making the world a better place, influencing educational systems, and having a direct impact on families, you’ll also be financially and professionally stable.


Program Description

The educational leadership–principal licensure certificate is a 24-credit, stand-alone certificate recognized by educational and professional institutions nationally.

Learning Outcomes

  • Facilitate the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a learning vision shared and supported by educational stakeholders.
  • Validate, nurture, and sustain a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.
  • Manage the organization, operation, and resources of a school to create a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to develop systems and relationships to engage and leverage resources, from within and outside the school, to maximize the school’s ability to successfully implement initiatives that better serve the diverse needs of students.
  • Create and utilize processes to empower leadership teams that support change and encourage improvements consistent with policies, laws, and agreements.


The graduate certificate in principal licensure consists of seven courses; four Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) courses, three new courses, and student teaching, which counts for six credits, for a total of 24 credits. During each principal licensure course students will also be interning 6-8 hours per week, implementing the principal effectiveness standards that they are learning, in the school in which they are currently teaching.

  • RES501: Fundamentals of Research and Writing

    This course is only required for students who are accepted into this program with an undergraduate GPA below 3.00.

    The primary purpose of this course is to help students entering graduate level programs at CSU-Global develop awareness of current and effective research and writing practices with the goal of implementing such practices into their writing and research projects. Students will learn what constitutes graduate level writing and research as well as how to communicate with colleagues in online professional forums. Students will also learn to effectively integrate writing and research skills into the writing projects they will pursue throughout their graduate level programs.

  • OTL502: Learning Theories and Models of Instruction

    This course provides students with an introduction to learning theories. A variety of theoretical constructs are studied to address diverse learning styles and conceptual frameworks for engaging learners. Students will explore theoretical perspectives on learning, cognition, and cognitive development. By examining a range of principles, perspectives and tools, students will gain an understanding of learning and teaching in a variety of contexts. Students will use problem solving, application, and evaluation skills to analyze the theories and practices of educational organizations.

  • OTL541: Assessment and Evaluation in Learning and Performance

    Examination of methods and techniques for evaluation and assessment of workplace learning. Analysis of contemporary issues in today's learning environments.

  • OTL545: Technology and Innovation

    This course presents how present and emerging technologies are transforming society and schools and the implications these changes have for teaching and learning. Strategies for building students' critical thinking habits, innovation, and creativity with respect to new technologies and media will be developed in the context of 21st century literacies (information, visual, etc.). Students will explore the practical context for the use of technology and will develop skills that identify and address the challenge of using technology creatively in teaching and learning situations today.

  • OTL565: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in the Differentiated Classroom

    An examination of the theories and concepts that define cultural and linguistic diversity with an emphasis on the theory and methods for creating multiple pathways of learning to accommodate students with varying backgrounds of knowledge, readiness, language, interest, and learning styles.

  • EDL500: Strategic Leadership

    This course examines the goals and objectives for individuals and groups to shape school culture, climate, and values. Students learn to facilitate the development of a shared strategic vision and prioritize the student and staff needs of a school within community and district contexts.

  • EDL520: Instructional Leadership

    This course examines instructional leadership in K-12 schools with special attention to issues of promoting the success of every student. Students focus on advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to learning and staff professional growth.

  • EDL530: School Culture and Equity Leadership

    This course introduces the ethical, social, and technical dimensions of current educational leadership practice. Top- ics include creating an inclusive and welcoming school cli- mate, promoting the overall development of every student, providing instruction that meets the needs of diverse student populations, and fostering a culture that encourages continual improvement.

  • EDL540: Human Resource Leadership

    This course focuses on personnel management and instructional supervision for creating effective learning environments with diversity and equity. Students learn how to be visionary change agents by creating collaborative learning communities, engaging in reflective and research-based practices, and increasing capacity for leadership development.

  • EDL550: Managerial Leadership

    This course explores the allocation of resources for maximizing student and staff learning support. Students learn the necessary functions for managing school operations conducive to learning and ensuring a safe environment in accordance with federal/state laws and school board policies.

  • EDL560: External Development Leadership

    This course investigates the development and successful implementation of initiatives that better serve learners. Students learn to effectively design structures and processes that result in community engagement, support, and ownership. The course content focuses on proactively creating opportunities for parents, community leaders, and business representatives to participate in meaningful school activities, and provides effective strategies to leverage district and community resources in the best interest of students and their families.

  • EDL510: School Leadership Internship

    This course fulfills the internship requirement of the Education Leadership Principal Licensure program at CSU-Global Campus. Prior to enrolling in this course, students should have completed the 300 total hours (approximately six hours per week) of internship activities that specifically relate to course content in the other EDL courses within the program. Learners will then complete assignments that focus on their clinical observation and application of knowledge and skills in various situations.

  • OTL568: Action Research

    Advanced examination of an educator led research approach with an emphasis on instructional improvement and student learning.

  • OTL579: Research-Based Professional Project OR OTL581: Capstone - Researching Effective Educational Programming

    Students have the option of selecting OTL579 or OTL581 as the capstone course of this program. See the Academic Catalog for full course descriptions. Both options represent a culmination of the knowledge and skills gain throughout the M.S. in Teaching and Learning program.

* Master’s Plus - Some M.S. in Teaching and Learning students may be required to take RES501 as part of their program if they have an undergraduate GPA below 3.00. In this case, the degree is 39 credits.

**EDL510 may not be available in all states, see the State Specific Authorization Policy under Admissions Policies.

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Education Leadership Principal Licensure.


Fill out the form below and we'll contact you and answer all of your questions.

* Required Fields

By submitting this form I agree that I can be contacted using the email or phone number that I provided.