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School Administrator Certificate

School Administrator Certificate

Dr. Mary Katherine Hamilton, IHM
Associate Professor / Coordinator of Educational Leadership Program
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School Administrator Certificate


The Administrative Certification program is designed to prepare candidates with advanced knowledge and skills in leading and managing a school committed to the success of all students. The program focuses on preparing candidates to serve as the instructional leader in the school, ensuring both a supportive environment and rich learning experiences for students and adults. Candidates learn to effectively engage the systems within which schooling is embedded by understanding and applying principles of system theory in their planning, decision making, and change processes. They examine the relationships among social justice, school culture and student achievement and are challenged to work for a school vision and culture of high expectations and equitable opportunities for all students.


The Administrative Certificate Program is a 21-24 credit program open to certified teachers who already hold a Master’s degree from an accredited institution and are interested in becoming a K-12 principal. The program is offered online. Candidates can complete the program in 4 semesters if they register for a minimum of six credits a term. Students who are currently principals are able to submit a professional portfolio to be reviewed for consideration of waiving Internship II (EDL 687).


  • Certificate program requires a master’s degree from an accredited higher education institution
  • Minimum 3.0 grade point average
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work completed
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work completed
  • Career plan
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to the candidate’s leadership potential
  • Completed application
  • Elementary or secondary teaching certificate
  • Beginning with Fall 2015 entrants, candidates will be required to take the Praxis test (or similar exam) during their Internship I course. Test fees for the Praxis test are currently $115 plus some additional fees for reports. It might be prudent to estimate $200 for test related costs.


For Information, Contact:
Dr. Mary Katherine Hamilton, IHM
Associate Professor / 
Coordinator of Educational Leadership 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At a Glance

Core Courses

  • Executive Leadership and Decision Making
  • Managerial Finance
  • Introduction to Management and Leadership
  • Curriculum Theory and Development
  • Legal Issues in Education
  • Supervision of Staff and Staff Development
  • Internship I
  • Internship II (required for all students who are not currently principals)

Special Requirements

  • 21-24 credit hours
  • Must complete an Administrative Practicum/Internship II if you are not currently in a principal role


EDL 515: Executive Leadership and Decision Making

3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will focus on the theories of leadership and their influence on educational systems. It will develop problem analysis and solution skills and ethical approaches to decision making. The role of decision-making and appropriate models for the executive will be stressed. The student will gain an understanding of and information needs of education decision-makers and how such needs can be met. The emphasis is on data driven decision-making and organizational learning.

EDL 516: Managerial Finance

3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will focus on sources of funding for schools with an emphasis on equity and adequacy of funding formulas for all students. It includes both human and financial resource allocation to improve student learning. It will cover reporting financial operations, the preparation and utilization of financial data for internal applications including decision-making and budget preparation, with an emphasis on long range and strategic planning forecasting.

EDL 529: Introduction to Management and Leadership

3 credits

Prerequisite: completion of 24 hours of approved course work with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The course is designed to analyze the components of educational and curriculum leadership necessary to improve instruction in K-12 education institutions.  The focus is on the development of a personal and coherent vision of effective institutions including knowledge of alternative visions, the design of steps to achieve a vision, the knowledge and attitude needed to affect changes in programs.  Students will be introduced to the concept of the “principal as change agent.”  Issues facing educational leaders, with a focus on principals in K-12 education will be considered in the context of the educational administrator as the chief architect of school improvement and change.

EDL 537: Curriculum Theory and Development

3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course studies the theories of curriculum, curricula development reform, multiculturalism, school reform, and diversity issues for the principal role as instructional leader. This includes the implications of curriculum theory for supervision of instruction, staff development and school improvement as a means to improve student learning. A review of philosophical, cultural, and technological foundations underlying curriculum development is also presented. This course is appropriate for administrators, school supervisors of specific content areas, and personnel involved with staff development, curriculum development and instructional leadership responsibilities.

EDL 627: Legal Issues in Education

3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will focus on the legal rights and responsibilities of administrators, students, teachers and community. It emphasizes pertinent and landmark court cases that have shaped educational policy and individual rights and responsibilities of students, teachers, parents, and community. It focuses primarily on all schools funded by federal, state and local government. This class is appropriate for administrators and teachers.

EDL 647: Supervision of Staff, Staff Development and Negotiations

3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will focus on the ways of facilitating staff effectiveness in achieving professional goals and improving instruction. This course includes skill building with regard to choosing or designing programs for staff development, supervisory skills, evaluating performance, and conducting follow-up conferences.

EDL 677: Issues in Education

3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course is an in-depth study of one or more organizational, school improvement or curriculum issues not covered in the regular curriculum but has significance based on data analysis. It requires the student to attend a summer work session on the Marygrove campus. During this session students will select an action research topic that will form the basis for a Plan of Work for the Practicum course. This Action Research Plan of Work will include:

  1. Description of Needs Analysis of the school site for their Internship.
  2. Data Driven Component to measure and act upon the gap analysis discovered.
  3. Evidence of Interviews with key stakeholders to validate data gathered on the Issue examined.
  4. Literature Review using theory, research and best practices on Issue to be examined.
  5. Communication of results to the College Advisor and Site Administrator to gain support for their findings and Project to be implemented in the Practicum class. 

EDL 687 Internship II (3) (required for all students who are not currently principals)

3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will consist of a supervised Practicum experience for administrative candidates to demonstrate competency of the eight Michigan Standards for the Preparation of School Principals. Candidates will be required to engage in several administrative duties, responsibilities, and activities such as, organizational leadership, curriculum development, and supervision and evaluation of staff during the practicum experience. Students will develop a plan of work that will be approved by the instructor and site administrator. The onsite administrator and college supervisor will evaluate the students’ performance during the practicum experience.

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