Principal Licensure

Principal Licensure

Degree Type

Principal Licensure

Department

M.A. in Education

A principal has the opportunity and responsibility to foster academic success and a healthy culture within their school. If you’re a working professional who aspires to become a principal, you’ll need a principal licensure program that provides the essential skills and flexibility you’ll need to advance your career.

Program Overview

Accelerate your career at Western.

Western’s one-year Principal Licensure program allows you to earn your principal license while gaining hands-on administrative experience. Aligned with Colorado’s Principal Quality Standards, our program provides personalized support during your online coursework and continuous feedback from your mentor principal, regional coordinator and Western instructors throughout your residency.

*Principal licensure requirements vary from state-to-state. This program is approved based on the State of Colorado standards. You are solely responsible for checking what the specific requirements are from the department of education in the state you plan to work.

Real life experience

Western’s one-year Principal Licensure program allows you to earn your principal license and optional master’s degree while gaining hands-on administrative experience.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

The Master of Arts in Education degree program combines online learning with practical and applied learning in the K-12 classroom. The master’s candidate must earn and successfully complete 30-43 semester credits of graduate course work, specific to the emphasis chosen. A teacher or principal licensure or an added endorsement credential is included in some emphases. Either a graduate capstone or final comprehensive examinations in the form of professional portfolios are required for graduation. A summer on-campus or online program orientation must be completed before coursework is begun. The candidate will earn a Master of Arts in Education and specialize in one of the following emphases: K-12 Online Teacher Leadership, Reading Leadership, Teaching Leadership, Educational Administration, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Leadership, or Educator Effectiveness.

  • A candidate intending to pursue the Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in K-12 Online Teacher Leadership, Reading Leadership, or Teacher Leadership will complete one of the following licensure or added endorsement programs as part of the MA degree: Elementary, K-12/Secondary, Secondary English, or Special Education Generalist.
  • A candidate intending to pursue the Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in Educational Administration will complete the Principal Licensure program as part of the MA degree.
  • A candidate intending to pursue the Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education will complete the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse added endorsement program as part of the MA degree.
  • A candidate intending to pursue the Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in Educator Effectiveness is required to hold an initial or professional teacher license as a prerequisite for admission and may be eligible to earn an additional licensure area or endorsement depending on course sequences chosen.

Upon acceptance to the program, an advisor will be assigned to assist the applicant in developing a degree plan, which includes a comprehensive exam or a capstone.

Requirements for Full Admission to the MA in Education with Teacher Licensure

  1. Candidate must submit:
    • Proof of fingerprint clearance and background check by state agency
    • Two professional recommendation forms
    • Resume
    • Payment of university application fee
    • Official transcript of conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university showing recommended 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher
    • Personal statement
  2. Candidate must demonstrate knowledge of the content area by:
    • passing a Praxis Subject Assessment (Special Ed. and Elementary Ed. must pass the Praxis Subject Assessment for Elementary Education Content Knowledge #5001); OR
    • a conferred degree in the content area; OR
    • a content evaluation of 24 semester hours of transcripted college coursework.

Additional Requirements for Alternative Teacher Licensure Candidates

  1. Secure a full-time teaching position in your endorsement area and submit your employment contract with your application.
  2. Submit Statement of Assurance to CDE after being admitted

For more information on the requirements of the Alternative Licensure program, see the  Colorado Department of Education Alternative Teacher Program webpage.

Requirements for Full Admission to the MA in Education Program with Principal Licensure

  1. Candidate must submit:
    • Proof of fingerprint clearance and background check by state agency
    • Two professional recommendation forms
    • Letter from principal or HR office confirming employment as licensed teacher or counselor for two years upon starting the program (Note: This requirement does not apply to Alternative Principal Licensure Candidates.)
    • Payment of university application fee
    • Official transcript of conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university showing recommended 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher
    • Personal statement
    • Statement of mentor principal support 

Additional Requirements for Alternative Principal Authorization Candidates

  1. Obtain a Statement of Eligibility from CDE.
  2. Secure a full-time principal or assistant principal position.
  3. Submit a letter from a mentor principal agreeing to act as your mentor for 1-2 hours/week for school year.

For more information on Alternative Authorization, see the Colorado Department of Education Alternative Principal Authorization webpage.

Requirements for Full Admission to the MA in Education, Educator Effectiveness Emphasis

To be successful in coursework in this emphasis, the candidate is a practicing teacher working in his or her own classroom while pursuing the program.

  1. Candidate must submit:
    • Copy of current teaching license
    • Two professional recommendation forms
    • Professional Resume
    • Personal statement
    • Official transcript of conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university showing 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher

Provisional Admission to the MA in Education program

An applicant who does not meet the requirements for full admission to the Master of Arts in Education program may be required to submit additional materials in order to be considered for provisional admission upon the recommendation of the program director and approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies. These may include evidence of relevant professional experience, post-BA coursework, professional development, recommendations, and any other experience that demonstrates history of work, study, volunteering or other professional activity demonstrating potential to be a quality educator and successful graduate student.  The program director may request a phone interview with the applicant. A provisionally admitted student will have a maximum of one calendar year to complete any pre-requisite academic coursework. The program director or Dean of Graduate Studies may set additional timeline requirements.

International Students: see Graduate Academic Catalog section, Criteria for International Admission.

Program Requirements

Teacher Licensure Areas

Students seeking the MA in Education with emphasis in Teacher Leadership, Reading Leadership, or K-12 Online Teacher Leadership must complete 27 credits of coursework in their first year of the MA Program. Students may choose to seek a Colorado Initial License or an added Colorado Endorsement, or to pursue further investigations in their current licensure area. Licensure areas include Elementary, K-12 (Art, Foreign Language, Music, and Physical Education), Secondary (Business, English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies), and Special Education. 

Elementary Education Licensure

EDUC 600Foundations of Literacy Development3
EDUC 601Methods and Strategies of Effective Reading Instruction3
EDUC 604Learning Environments3
EDUC 605Curriculum Development and Assessment3
EDUC 608Methods and Strategies of Effective Writing Instruction3
EDUC 613Methods and Strategies of Effective Mathematics Instruction3
EDUC 619Elementary Student Teaching (taken twice)6
EDUC 628Pedagogies for English Learners3
Total Credits27

Secondary or K-12 Licensure

EDUC 603Content Area Learning3
EDUC 604Learning Environments3
EDUC 605Curriculum Development and Assessment3
EDUC 606Reading and Writing in the Content Area3
EDUC 607Rethinking Learning through 21st Century3
EDUC 624Managing to Differentiate3
EDUC 629Inclusion and English Learners3
Appropriate Student Teaching Course:6
EDUC 609
Secondary Student Teaching (must be taken twice)
EDUC 610
K-12 Student Teaching (must be taken twice)
Total Credits27

Special Education Generalist (Ages 5-21) Licensure

EDUC 611Strategies for Teaching Students with Exceptionalities3
EDUC 612Assessment and Programming3
EDUC 614Inclusivity with Collaboration3
EDUC 630Inclusivity in the Content Areas3
EDUC 631Inclusive Methods and Strategies for Literacy3
EDUC 632Overview of Special Services3
EDUC 633Differential Literacy Assessment3
Appropriate Student Teaching Course:6
EDUC 615
Student Teaching for Students with Exceptionalities (First-time Licensure must take twice)
Total Credits27

Education with emphasis in K-12 Online Teacher Leadership, Master of Arts

K-12 Online Teacher Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (an online-teacher leader) teaching online in a virtual school and/or in a blended K-12 learning environment who knows federal and state policies related to online and blended teaching and learning; has advanced knowledge of the development, implementation, and evaluation of quality online teaching and instructional design; and can work effectively with other online or blended instructional staff to meet the targeted learning needs of all students. The K-12 online teacher leader provides professional guidance and expertise to virtual or brick and mortar schools on effective curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs in relation to online and blended learning.

In order to earn the MA in Education with emphasis in K-12 Online Teacher Leadership, the candidate must successfully complete 43 graduate credits of education course work in conjunction with in-classroom/school practical experience. Already licensed teachers have the option of adding an endorsement in one of the licensure areas above during their first year of study. Successful completion of the K-12 Online Teacher Leadership emphasis will result in earning the MA degree. 

Completion of the Emphasis in K-12 Online Teacher Leadership

27 credits of Teacher Licensure course work is required in addition to the following: 27
EDUC 621Creating Effective Online Learning Environments3
EDUC 622Using Data to Plan for Online & Blended Learning and Targeted Interventions3
EDUC 623Designing and Delivering Effective Online & Blended Instruction3
EDUC 680Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders4
EDUC 693Capstone3
Total Credits43

Education with emphasis in Reading Leadership, Master of Arts

Reading Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (a reading-leader) situated in the classroom or in a school or district-level position who has advanced knowledge of federal and state policies related to literacy; has deep understanding of the development, implementation, and evaluation of scientifically-based reading programs; and can work effectively with other instructional staff to meet the literacy needs of all students. The reading leader provides professional guidance and expertise to classroom teachers, school and/or district literacy curriculum, instruction, and assessment programs; and develops and conducts in-service programs related to literacy.

In order to earn the MA in Education with emphasis in Reading Leadership, the candidate must successfully complete 43 graduate credits of education course work in conjunction with in-classroom/school practical experience. Already licensed teachers have the option of adding an endorsement in the licensure areas listed above during their first year of study, and will have the opportunity to add Reading-specific endorsements as they complete their MA as outlined below. Successful completion of the Reading Leadership emphasis will result in earning the MA degree. 

Completion of the emphasis in Reading Leadership

27 credits of Teacher Licensure course work is required in addition to the following: 27
EDUC 680Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders4
EDUC 684Materials and Motivation for Reading2
EDUC 685Assessing, Evaluating, and Instructing At-risk and Struggling Readers3
EDUC 686Literacy Coaching and Mentoring2
EDUC 687School-Wide Comprehensive Literacy Program Development2
EDUC 693Capstone3
Optional courses required in the Reading Leadership emphasis to add Colorado endorsements in Reading Teacher and/or Reading Specialist
EDUC 688
Reading Teacher Internship
EDUC 689
Reading Specialist Internship
Total Credits43

Education with emphasis in Teacher Leadership, Master of Arts

Teacher Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (a teacher-leader) within a school who is regarded as an excellent educator; is well respected by peers; is recognized for his or her leadership capacity; holds a lifelong learning orientation; and has been identified to facilitate, advocate, and advance school reform and improvement of student learning. The work of a Teacher Leader is typically carried out through informal and formal venues and processes; for example, with teachers in their classrooms, and district level task forces, committee, and/or membership in district level professional development projects. In order to earn the MA in Education with emphasis in Teacher Leadership, the candidate must successfully complete 43 graduate credits of education course work in conjunction with in-classroom/school practical experience. Already licensed teachers have the option of adding an endorsement in the licensure areas listed above during their first year of study. Successful completion of the Teacher Leadership emphasis will result in earning the MA degree.

Completion of the emphasis in Teacher Leadership

27 credits of Teacher Licensure course work is required in addition to the following: 27
EDUC 680Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders4
EDUC 681Instructional Program Development and Evaluation3
EDUC 682Shaping School Culture3
EDUC 693Capstone3
Select three credits from the following:3
EDUC 694
School Law for Teachers
EDUC 695
Resource Management in Education
EDUC 696
Engaging External Stakeholders
Total Credits43

Education with emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Leadership, Master of Arts

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Leadership is defined as the work of an individual (a CLD Interventionist or CLD Teacher Leader) who serves as a liaison between various constituents accountable for meeting the needs of CLD learners in the school and community settings. This individual is aware of state, national and local cultural norms, legalities, and policies that impact student learning and the acquisition of English language proficiency. The CLD leader has the ability to guide and support stakeholders associated with serving CLD learners to sustained high levels of productivity, collaboration, and achievement. In order to earn the MA in Education with emphasis in CLD Leadership, the candidate must successfully complete 43 graduate credits of education course work in conjunction with in-classroom/school practical experience. The candidate must be a licensed teacher and will be eligible to add a CLD endorsement at the conclusion of the first year of MA course work.

First year CLD endorsement course work requires 27 credits
EDUC 600Foundations of Literacy Development3
EDUC 601Methods and Strategies of Effective Reading Instruction3
EDUC 602Literacy Assessment Informed Instruction3
EDUC 605Curriculum Development and Assessment3
EDUC 616Language Acquisition for Linguistically Diverse Students3
EDUC 617Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency in the Content Area3
EDUC 618Linguistically Diverse Student Teaching (must be taken twice)6
Completion of the emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Leadership
EDUC 680Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders4
EDUC 682Shaping School Culture3
EDUC 693Capstone3
EDUC 694School Law for Teachers3
EDUC 696Engaging External Stakeholders3
Total Credits40

Education with emphasis in Educational Administration, Master of Arts

Educational administrator leadership is defined as the work of an individual serving in an administrative capacity at the school/district level. This individual is aware of local, state, and federal laws and policies that affect student learning and school/district management, understands the needs of students and staff, and has the ability to lead a school/district to sustained high levels of productivity, collaboration, and achievement. 

In order to earn the M.A. degree, the candidate must successfully complete one year of principal licensure course work and at least one concurrent year-long contractual or internship experience in school administration. First-year course work requires 25 credits. The candidate must also successfully complete 12 credits of administrator licensure course work during the second year. The Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in Educational Administration requires 44 credits. At the conclusion of the first year the candidate is eligible to become licensed as a principal. Successful completion of the second year will result in earning the M.A. degree, as well as eligibility to become licensed as a district administrator. 

First year Principal Licensure course work requires 25 credits
EDUC 670Introduction to School Leadership4
EDUC 672Personnel Selection and Development3
EDUC 673School Safety and Management3
EDUC 674Family and Community Involvement3
EDUC 675Student Learning and Accountability3
EDUC 678Principal Internship I3
EDUC 679Principal Internship II3
EDUC 683Legal and Ethical Issues in Education3
Second Year Administrator Licensure course work requires 12 credits
EDUC 681Instructional Program Development and Evaluation3
EDUC 682Shaping School Culture3
EDUC 695Resource Management in Education3
EDUC 696Engaging External Stakeholders3
Completion of emphasis in Educational Administration requires 7 credits
EDUC 680Research and Critical Inquiry for Leaders4
EDUC 693Capstone3
Total Credits44

Education with emphasis in Educator Effectiveness, Master of Arts

The MA in Education emphasis in Educator Effectiveness delivers a curriculum that provides a customized and relevant program of study based upon the candidate’s specific needs as measured by Colorado’s Teacher Quality Standards for performance. Candidates may complete the MA in one academic year by completing fifteen credits per semester. Programs of study may be made up from five, 3-credit courses or the equivalent by inserting 1-6 credit offerings during fall and spring semesters only, so that the candidate may choose to spread out their program to complete the 30 credits over more than one year, within the five year maximum. Courses are limited to the fall and spring semesters due to the fact that coursework is designed to be completed and applied within a K-12 teaching setting for maximum internalization and improvement. Candidates may end the program in either fall or spring semesters. Upon acceptance into the program, candidates will work with a profile identifier and academic advisor to register for the most applicable sequence of courses which will help meet specific goals established from the candidate’s professional growth plan.

In order to earn the MA in Education with emphasis in Educator Effectiveness, the candidate must successfully complete 30 graduate credits of 600-level education course work. Degree completion will also require an extensive Capstone: Professional Portfolio that contains evidence from multiple measures to establish the rate and degree of improvement in performance. These may include the candidate’s annual effectiveness ratings (pre-program and post-program) as reported by an evaluating administrator, evidence of academic achievement and growth of the candidate’s K-12 students taught during the course of the program, artifacts, assessments, and further evidence of performance and growth. The portfolios will be due and evaluated to coincide with the end of the candidate’s final semester. If a candidate requires additional time to complete the Capstone, registration in EDUC 697 Special Topics for at least one credit per semester will be required to remain eligible to complete this degree completion requirement.

Candidate will complete 30 credits from the following.

The following two courses are required:
EDUC 625Relevant Data Analysis to Inform Instruction3
EDUC 626Defining and Defending Evidence of Professional Mastery3
Select 24 credits from the following:24
EDUC 600
Foundations of Literacy Development
EDUC 601
Methods and Strategies of Effective Reading Instruction
EDUC 602
Literacy Assessment Informed Instruction
EDUC 603
Content Area Learning
EDUC 606
Reading and Writing in the Content Area
EDUC 607
Rethinking Learning through 21st Century
EDUC 608
Methods and Strategies of Effective Writing Instruction
EDUC 611
Strategies for Teaching Students with Exceptionalities
EDUC 612
Assessment and Programming
EDUC 613
Methods and Strategies of Effective Mathematics Instruction
EDUC 614
Inclusivity with Collaboration
EDUC 616
Language Acquisition for Linguistically Diverse Students
EDUC 617
Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency in the Content Area
EDUC 618
Linguistically Diverse Student Teaching
EDUC 621
Creating Effective Online Learning Environments
EDUC 622
Using Data to Plan for Online & Blended Learning and Targeted Interventions
EDUC 623
Designing and Delivering Effective Online & Blended Instruction
EDUC 624
Managing to Differentiate
EDUC 627
Exploring Educational Technology
EDUC 628
Pedagogies for English Learners
EDUC 629
Inclusion and English Learners
EDUC 630
Inclusivity in the Content Areas
EDUC 631
Inclusive Methods and Strategies for Literacy
EDUC 632
Overview of Special Services
EDUC 633
Differential Literacy Assessment
EDUC 640
Acclimation of Beginning Teachers
EDUC 641
Professional Growth for the Beginning Teacher
EDUC 669
Formal and Informal Methods of Assessment
EDUC 674
Family and Community Involvement
EDUC 681
Instructional Program Development and Evaluation
EDUC 682
Shaping School Culture
EDUC 684
Materials and Motivation for Reading
EDUC 685
Assessing, Evaluating, and Instructing At-risk and Struggling Readers
EDUC 686
Literacy Coaching and Mentoring
EDUC 687
School-Wide Comprehensive Literacy Program Development
EDUC 688
Reading Teacher Internship
EDUC 689
Reading Specialist Internship
EDUC 694
School Law for Teachers
EDUC 695
Resource Management in Education
EDUC 696
Engaging External Stakeholders
EDUC 697
Special Topics
EDUC 699
Research Problems
Total Credits30

K-12 Online Teacher Series

The following three courses may be taken in series to provide the student with a sequential learning experience of nine credits, in which the student will become prepared to teach K-12 Online and Blended classes in the virtual classroom. These courses are offered as professional development only and may not be transferred into the MA in Education. Upon successful completion of the nine credit series, participants will earn a Certificate of Completion from the Office of Graduate Studies. 

EDUC 535Engaging the K-12 Online Learner3
EDUC 536Assessing the K-12 Online Learner3
EDUC 537Field-Based Application of Online Instruction3
Total Credits9

Careers

Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

How It Works

Learn about the progression of your degree.

You’ll be admitted to the licensure program as part of our M.A. in Education and all your credits will apply toward a master’s degree.

  • During your first year, you’ll work with a mentor principal while taking 25 credits of online coursework. Then you’ll be recommended for your Colorado Principal License. Once you earn your Principal License, you have up to four more years to complete an additional 19 credits of coursework to earn your M.A. in Education and be eligible for an Administrator License.
  • Summer: You’ll attend a Licensure Orientation, which covers foundational concepts and reviews program expectations.
  • Fall and Spring: You’ll enroll in three eight-week, graduate-level courses and complete 150 internship hours each semester.

The highest standards

Aligned with Colorado’s Principal Quality Standards, our Principal Licensure provides personalized support during your online coursework and continuous feedback from your mentor principal, regional coordinator and Western instructors throughout your residency.

M.A. in Education, Educational Administration Leadership

Become an agent for change.

As an education administrator, you’ll create a common vision for a district and improve conditions for learning. After completion of the principal licensure year, you may complete an additional 19 credits of coursework to earn your M.A. degree in Education and be eligible for an Administrator License, which allows you to apply for superintendent positions. You aren’t required to complete the degree if you only want to earn the principal license.

Western is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This regional accrediting agency is responsible for accrediting degree-granting post-secondary institutions in a 19-state region.

Apply to the M.A. in Education

Making an impact

Collaborate with teachers and employees to make sound decisions about effective learning and teaching for continuous improvement.

Additional Resources

Costs and Admissions

Learn more about admissions requirements and tuition costs for our affordable and effective M.A. in Education program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

View a list of frequently asked questions answered by our knowledgeable faculty to familiarize yourself with what you can expect as an M.A. in Education student.

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Summer Licensure Orientation

Summer Licensure Orientation For Summer 2020, we will be reimagining and recreating our typical face-to-face session into an engaging and exciting virtual experience. We can’t wait for you to join …

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Optional Added Endorsements

Supplement your master’s degree in education with additional endorsements to enhance your resume and your professional experience. Program Overview Bolster your credentials and gain a competitive …

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Residency Information

Know what to expect and how to prepare for your yearlong teaching residency experience.

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Department Information

M.A. in Education

Contact Information

970.943.2045

mkrill@western.edu

Campus Location

Crawford Hall 118
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81230