Certification Requirements for School Supervisors

Find out about the education and certification needed to become a school supervisor, also known as a principal. Learn what the duties are for this position, and get information on online study options. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Most states require school supervisors and administrators working in public elementary, middle or secondary schools to be licensed. Regulations vary between states, but you'll be expected to successfully pass an examination after completing a master's degree program in a subject like education administration, education leadership or school administration.

Courses School law, school policy, organization, classroom management, educational technology, leadership and finances
Degrees Master's degrees, Ph.D. in Education Administration
Licensing Typically required for school supervisors and administrators; can be acquired via state licensing examinations

What Might My Job Duties Be?

As the principal of a school you will have a variety of responsibilities. You may help to shape and develop educational programs and general curricula. You'll also work with individual teachers and students to increase educational projects, discuss student services and advise on issues of policy and procedure.

The planning after school care, drug education, career planning and other student services may also fall under your responsibilities. You may be expected to meet frequently with teachers, parents, students and other community representatives to address a number of administrative and academic issues.

Other than educational progress, you may also be responsible for the technical operations of the school, including record keeping and budgetary matters. You must also ensure that your school meets local, state and national standards of education.

What Degree Programs Are Offered?

Master's degree programs can include courses in school law, organization, classroom management, educational technology, finances and leadership. You may be required to complete a capstone project and an internship. You may also complete coursework that will prepare you for any required state licensure examinations.

In a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education Administration degree program, you may be able to focus your studies on school policy, organization, educational research or leadership. You will be expected to complete a dissertation based on the original research conducted in your chosen specialization. Earning a Ph.D. could give you an advantage when seeking a position as a school supervisor.

What Are My Online Study Options?

If you're a working professional, like a teacher, you may consider the flexibility that online options offer you. Distance education programs allow you to complete your studies with a greater amount of scheduling freedom, which could allow you to increase your professionals credentials without compromising your work schedule.

Master's degree programs in educational leadership, educational administration and school supervision can all be completed with online options, but commonly require a principal internship or residency experience which must be completed in person. Fewer online Ph.D. programs exist and virtually all require some in-person classroom study or hands-on research.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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