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Elementary Administration Certificate and Certification Programs

The following article highlights elementary administration certificate programs and licensing requirements. Read on for information on prerequisites, coursework and popular career options.

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Essential Information

People interested in becoming elementary school principals, vice principals or other administrative professionals often train through a certificate program. Most elementary administration certificate programs are designed for people who have previous educational or employment experience in a related subject. Certificate programs in elementary administration teach concepts relevant to designing curricula, planning school budgets, managing student behavior and hiring teachers.

Many programs also cover student affairs, counseling, community relations, administration education and teacher training. Some programs are designed for students who have already earned a bachelor's or master's degree in education, while others are meant to be completed concurrently with a degree program. Programs vary in length, depending in part on whether they're offered as part of a larger degree program or as a stand-alone program. Elementary school administrators must obtain licensure rather than certifications.

Educational Prerequisites

Most certificate programs in elementary administration require students to already hold or be working towards a master's degree in a related subject, though some programs require only a bachelor's degree. Some programs require applicants to hold valid state teaching certification and previous employment in education. Programs may also have specific requirements for incoming students' grade point averages (GPAs) and college admissions test scores.

Program Coursework

The coursework in elementary administration certificate programs emphasizes practical knowledge used to operate K-5 schools. The classes cover topics dealing with finances, human resources, educational theory, business management and special education. The list below includes some commonly required courses:

  • Curricula design for elementary schools
  • School finance management
  • Teaching exceptional children
  • Management principles in education
  • Child development

Popular Career Options

People who earn a certificate in elementary administration usually work in specific schools, rather than with several schools in a district. Earning an elementary administration certificate and a master's degree in education prepares graduates for the careers noted below:

  • Elementary school principal
  • Afterschool program supervisor
  • Elementary school curriculum design specialist

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that elementary, middle and secondary school principals would see a 10% growth in employment opportunities from 2010-2020. The mean annual wages for elementary and secondary school administrators were $90,800 in May 2012.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Rather than certification, elementary school administrators need to earn a license; nearly every state requires administrators to meet unique licensure requirements. These standards usually include holding a master's or doctoral degree in educational administration or completing a postgraduate certificate. Supervised employment experience in the field is another common requirement. Elementary school administrators often need to complete continuing education coursework to keep their knowledge and licenses current.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics