School Administration Certification and Certificate Programs

A Certificate in School Administration can be earned in a post-master's degree program. There, students learn the specific knowledge and methods needed to run an educational facility.

Essential Information

Existing teachers with master's degrees who wish to become school principals or superintendents might realize their career goals by earning a school administration certificate. Generally, students will learn about administration at the central-office level, where most decisions are made regarding policy, operations and finances. In addition to learning about school law, principalship and school facility management, students will participate in a school district internship program essential to a full understanding of the job duties. Earning the certificate allows existing educators to advance to higher positions and have greater authority over school operations.

  • Program Levels in School Administration: Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration or a Doctor of Education in Education Administration (both of which are typically earned after certification)
  • Prerequisites: Master's degree in education
  • Other Requirements: Prior job experience in education; recommendations from co-workers

Certificate in School Administration

Before enrolling, students must possess a master's degree and show proof of relevant experience in education or a related field. Some programs require assessment of applicant skills via oral presentations, conceptual work and composition. Applicants must also provide letters of recommendation.

In the program students study various topics; traditionally, they also have the opportunity to practice applying educational leadership and management techniques during their internship. Some of the courses that might be included are:

  • Instructional leadership
  • Fundamentals of school administration
  • School finance
  • Legal aspects of school administration
  • School relations
  • School facility management

Employment Outlook

In May 2014, the median annual salary of elementary and secondary school administrators was $89,540, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Postsecondary administrators earned a median yearly salary of $88,390 in the same year.

The BLS predicted that middle, elementary and high school principals would have 6% job growth for the years 2012 through 2022. In the same period, postsecondary education administrators would likely have an estimated 15% employment growth.

Continuing Education

The type of school administration job desired determines the level of education needed. For instance, a preschool administrator may need only a bachelor's degree, while a superintendent often holds a Ph.D. Beyond the Certificate in School Administration, a school principal is encouraged to continue his or her education to stay current on trends and policies. Students wishing to pursue further education can obtain a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration, or a Doctor of Education in Education Administration.

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