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 Administrative Credentials Program Supports School Leaders

District leaders and researchers have called out the need for qualified, innovative school leaders who have the capacity to lead modern learning organizations.

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has answered that call with two highly effective Administrative Services Credential programs.

Teachers who want to become administrators and new principals looking to clear their credential can get the needed credentials and support through SDCOE’s evidence-based leadership pathway.

“We serve and support the whole spectrum, from someone who’s thinking about becoming a teacher leader to an experienced principal,” said Guido Magliato, principal in residence with SDCOE. “We offer a full-service program.”

The Preliminary Administrative Services Credential and the Clear Administrative Services Credential programs offered by SDCOE are accredited and fully aligned with new program and induction standards.

The academic programs to get preliminary and cleared administrative credentials are part of a larger group of professional learning and support available to current and aspiring administrators. Other offerings include Principal Leadership Institutes and Leadership Seminars.

SDCOE started offering the administrative credential programs two years ago to transform education through leadership and provide the expertise and support that district leaders were looking to SDCOE to provide.

The first step is a 17-month program that supports educators as they earn their Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. Through a partnership with University of Phoenix, participants can also earn a master’s degree in educational leadership in conjunction with their preliminary credential.

The research-based program features a collaborative blended model that includes both online and face-to-face learning. The program is focused on shaping culture, leading change, driving school improvement with data, and building capacity to improve teaching and learning. It includes fieldwork that helps ground the candidates learning in real-life applications.

“It’s taught by people who have all been principals,” said Carol Osborne, another SDCOE principal in residence. “They help those enrolled solve real problems in real environments.”

With a preliminary credential, educators can move into an administrative position. Once in that role, they have 120 days to enroll in a program to clear the credential. For that, SDCOE offers the two-year, coaching-based Administrative Services Credential Clear Induction Program.

Credential candidates receive 40 to 60 hours per year of one-on-one coaching over a two year period. SDCOE coaches go to the candidate’s school site and support their development and growth in educational leadership by applying the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders to the challenges faced by the new administrators.

There are about 100 educators currently enrolled in the clear induction program. 65 candidates have already graduated from the preliminary credential program with two cohorts currently midway through their program.

“SDCOE’s two credential programs complement each other and establish a strong foundation so that our graduates attain the level of effectiveness needed to produce high-performing schools,” Magliato said.