Online School Administration and Supervision Certificate Programs

Get info about online certificate programs in school administration and supervision. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career options.

Essential Information

Many schools offer online post-graduate certificate programs in educational or school administration. Applicants generally must be licensed teachers with several years of experience and hold a master's degree in education. They also must meet certain GPA requirements.

These programs, which prepare individuals for licensure as a public school principal or school system administrator, can often be completed primarily online, except for an internship period in a school. If there are on-campus requirements, they are usually scheduled in the evenings. These programs typically last two years. When choosing an online program, students should ensure that it meets their state's licensing requirements.

Certificate in Educational Administration

Certificates in educational administration are typically post-graduate programs for individuals looking to advance their careers to upper-level educational administration work. Curricula for these specialized certificate programs focus on in-depth studies of the theories, principles and execution of successful educational administration and governing. Topics covered may include personnel management, principles of positive, successful leadership and school organization and administration.

Admissions criteria for these programs often require successful applicants to be licensed teachers with 3-5 years of professional experience and at least a master's degree in an education-related field. Some programs require applicants to have earned a minimum of a 'B' average in prior graduate programs.

Program Information and Requirements

Because these certificate programs are often intended for the working professional, they can usually be completed almost entirely online within 2-4 years. Often, the only program component not available online is an internship or other hands-on learning experience. Some programs allow students to complete coursework at their own pace, but require that students complete the program within five years of first enrolling. An added benefit of these online programs may be a waiver of certain school fees intended for students taking on-campus classes.

In addition to a working computer with high-speed internet access, students in these programs typically need equipment like a printer, speakers and word processing software. Some schools use online course delivery systems like Blackboard to transmit lectures and class notes to students. Students are usually assigned a username and password by the school so they can log in to the online courseware system.

Course Topics

Courses in school administration at the certificate level are intended to build upon existing educational and leadership knowledge and skills. Students continue studying key topics pertaining to high-level school administrators such as legal issues in the school system, effective leadership tactics, personnel organization and community outreach.

Basics of School Administration and Organization

Students acquire the tools needed to be an effective school administrator, learn to evaluate for instruction improvement, learn about community outreach and gain skills necessary for successful personnel, financial and facilities management.

Legal Issues in School Administration

This course looks at the law from the school administrator's point of view. Unique legal issues concerning the educational system are evaluated through case studies. The development of research skills is highlighted.

Leadership Theories

Comprehensive study and practice of proven leadership theories in educational administration is the focus of this course. Other topics covered include the roles of assistant principal and principals, evaluation of school climate, positive motivation, interaction with subordinates and superiors and the implementation of collective goals.


Career Information

Graduates of these programs find employment as assistant principals, principals or district superintendents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), education administrators at the elementary, middle and secondary school levels earned a median salary of $90,410 as of 2015. Jobs in the field are only expected to grow by 6% between 2014-2024, about average compared to all occupations. The availability of jobs may vary by region, according to the BLS, with more opportunities in regions with fast-growing populations, like the South and West.

Continuing Education Information

A certificate program can be considered a terminating point for education in this field. According to the BLS, most states require principals and other school administrators to hold official school administration licensure. Licensure requirements may include graduate-level credentials and passing a written exam. The BLS indicates that continuing education courses may be part of maintaining school administrator licensure.

Online certificate programs in school administration and supervision can help working professionals advance to leadership roles in the education system, as they will study theories in leadership, organization and relevant regulations. Students will have to be in attendance for internships.


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