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School Administration Certification and Certificate Programs

This article addresses certificate programs for the school administration professional. Read on for educational prerequisites, program coursework and employment outlook statistics.

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Essential Information

Existing teachers who have master's degrees and who would one day like to become school principals or superintendents might realize their career goals by earning a school administration certificate. A Certificate in School Administration can be earned through a post-master's degree program. The program outlines the specific knowledge and methods needed to run an educational facility.

Generally, the student 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, the student will participate in a school district internship program that is essential to gaining a full understanding of the work. Earning the certificate allows existing educators to prepare to advance to higher positions and to have greater authority over school operations.

Career and Education Prerequisites

Before a student can enroll in the certificate program, he or she must hold a master's degree and also show proof of having relevant experience in education or other related fields. Some programs require an assessment of the applicant's skills with oral presentations, conceptual work and composition. In addition, existing faculty who work with the student and know his or her potential must provide a recommendation.

Program Coursework

Students pursuing a Certificate in School Administration study topics such as the following; traditionally, they also have the opportunity to practice the application of educational leadership and management techniques during their internship.

  • Instructional leadership
  • Fundamentals of school administration
  • School finance
  • Legal aspects of school administration
  • School relations
  • School facility management
  • School law
  • Principalship
  • Supervision of school faculty
  • Leadership for school-community relations

Employment Outlook

In May 2012, the median annual salaries of elementary and secondary school administrators were $87,760, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Postsecondary administrators earned a median yearly wage of $86,490 in the same year.

The BLS predicted that middle, elementary and high school principals will have 10% job growth for the years 2010 through 2020. In the same period, postsecondary education administrators will have an estimated 19% employment growth.

Continuing Education

The type of school administration job desired determines the level of education needed. For instance, a preschool administrator is often only required to hold 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 in order to keep up on the current trends and policies. Students who wish to pursue higher education can obtain a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration or a Doctor of Education in Education Administration.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics