Effective educational leaders strive for educational opportunities that are driven by equity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being. The Online Preliminary Administrative Services Credential is designed for individuals who aspire to be quality-driven school leaders, responsible for empowering engaged, inspired, and successful learners. This program will provide you with educational leadership skills and knowledge through a variety of online coursework and field experiences that are tied to the California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPEs) and lead to licensure in the State of California. Coursework and field experience collectively prepare you for the California Administrator Performance Assessment.

California Administrator Performance Assessments (Cal APA) Preparation
In addition to required coursework and field work, candidates are required to pass three cycles of the California Administrator Performance Assessments (CalAPA) to be recommended for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential.  Program curriculum, including field experiences, are designed to prepare aspiring administrators for successful completion of the California Administrator Performance Assessments requirement. A total of three CalAPA cycles are completed during the program. Additional support systems are available for students with areas of improvement. Remediation plans include one on one faculty support tailored to the students' area(s) of need.

Online Administrative Credential Program

Applications Are Now Open!
Spring 2022: August 2-Nov. 1, 2021


Two applications are required to be considered for the program.

1. Education Service Credential - Preliminary Administrative Services
Cal State Application

Cal State Apply Here

2. Online Administrative Services Credential
Program Application

Program Application Here

California needs school administrators. San Diego State University’s Online Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program will show you how to inspire your colleagues, empower your students, and transform your school community.

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About the program

Effective educational leaders strive to create educational opportunities driven by equity and culturally-responsive practices to promote their student’s academic success and well-being. SDSU’s Online Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program is designed to help you become a quality-driven school leader, capable of empowering engaged, inspired, and successful learners at all levels of your school community.

Estimated CostTotal Estimated Cost
$16,414
Completion Time Min. Completion Time
As short as 1 year
Course Format Course Format
Fully Online

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Driven by expert faculty from SDSU’s College of Education — ranked #1 in the CSU system and #8 in California by U.S. News & World Report — this program will help you develop your educational leadership skills and knowledge through a combination of online coursework and field experiences. All classes are 100% online and asynchronous. The curriculum is closely tied to the latest California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPEs) and will prepare you to pass all three CalAPA (California Administrator Performance Assessment) cycles required for licensure as a school administrator in the State of California.

Program is perfect for

This program is designed for current education professionals who aspire to become quality-driven school administrators in the State of California. As an aspiring administrator, you’ll learn how to self-evaluate and reflect on your own leadership skills by asking essential questions designed to stimulate thought and provoke action:

  1. Do our stakeholders (including students) feel informed, valued, and engaged in creating conditions for all students to aspire and achieve in school and in life?
  2. Do my words and behavior as a school leader build trust and communicate, model, and promote our shared vision of engaged, inspired, and successful learners?
  3. Is our student body fully composed of engaged, inspired, and successful learners who are able to perform at the ambitious academic levels needed to succeed in school and community?

In order to join the program and start working towards your Preliminary Admin. Services Credential, you’ll need to satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  • A valid California clear or life teaching credential requiring a bachelor’s degree and a program of professional preparation, including student teaching, or
  • A valid California clear or life Designated Subjects Teaching Credential, provided the holder also possesses a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university, or
  • A valid clear or life California Pupil Personnel Services Credential, Teacher Librarian Services Credential, Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential, Clinical or Rehabilitative Services Credential, or a School Nurse Services Credential, requiring a bachelor’s degree and a program of professional preparation, including field practice or the equivalent.

Best of all, the program is entirely online and self-directed, which means you’ll be able to access and complete the required coursework in a way that fits into your busy schedule.

What you can learn

Through a series of eight 7-week online courses and guided field experiences in your own community, this online administrator credential program will provide you with educational leadership skills you need to empower your students and your teachers.

Student cohorts begin the program in spring and fall semesters. Each cohort includes approximately 25–35 students, all of whom are working professionals in public or private schools or other educational settings. You’ll complete your coursework one just year, held over three semesters (e.g., spring, summer, and fall). Your cohort is your learning community — you’ll work together to discuss the coursework, examine day-to-day work-related challenges, and provide encouragement when needed.

Your classes are 100% online and asynchronous. You can expect to spend an average of 10 hours per week on the learning platform and completing coursework. In addition to online learning, you’ll have the opportunity to apply the coursework through a series of field experiences. These job-embedded tasks are designed to help you practice leadership and learn what it takes to become an administrator and meet the challenges facing today’s school communities. Field experiences are required and are supervised by university instructors along with a local site mentor.

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Choose a Proven Curriculum

In addition to required coursework and field work, candidates are required to pass three cycles of the California Administrator Performance Assessments (CalAPA) to be recommended for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. Our entire program curriculum, including the field experiences, is designed to prepare aspiring administrators for successful completion of the California Administrator Performance Assessments (CalAPA) requirement. You’ll complete a total of three CalAPA cycles during the program.

To help you pass your cycles and earn your credential, you’ll have access to additional support systems, including remediation plans and one-on-one faculty support tailored to help you become a better administrator.

Meet Your Faculty

Douglas Fisher Ph.D. of San Diego State University Photo
Douglas Fisher Ph.D.
Nancy Frey Ph.D. of San Diego State University Photo
Nancy Frey Ph.D.

Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey, experienced leaders in the education industry, have been deeply involved with the development of the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program. Professor Fisher is the Department Chair of Educational Leadership and oversees the Administrative Services program. Nancy Frey will be co-teaching several courses in the program, including EDL 650, Professional Growth Leadership. Both professors have won Faculty Monty Awards at SDSU and serve the community by teaching and leading at Health Sciences High in City Heights. Fisher and Frey designed the entire learning experience and will be personally involved in the field placement experiences to ensure students get the most out of the Online Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program.

Outcomes

Labor Analysis
Education Administrators, Kindergarten-Secondary — Nationwide

Job Postings
Job Postings
In 2019
283,200

Projected Growth
Projected Growth
Over 10 years
+3-4%

Salary Range
Salary Range
Average
$63,070-$148,630


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019


Now more than ever, institutions across the state need strong leadership to guide our schools through unprecedented changes. To meet this demand, California needs licensed, highly-educated school administrators who can create growth, foster positive student outcomes, and build equitable learning environments for all members of our school communities.

The job outlook for school administrators is bright. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 285,000 school administrators employed across the country in 2019 — including 28,200 in California alone.

In California, job openings for PK-12 administrators are projected to grow by 6% over the next decade, which is faster than the average growth rate for all jobs nationwide. Most job openings in California are seeking superintendents, school principals, assistant school principals, and individuals ready to serve in elementary and secondary school administrative roles. In Southern California, job growth is expected to rise a bit faster; currently, job demand in San Diego is average, and nearby areas of Riverside/San Bernardino and Imperial Valley/El Centro have very high demand across varying roles of school leadership.

Salary varies depending on prior experience and credentials, local demand, and other factors. In California, annual wages can range from $88,060 for the bottom 10% of earners to more than $167,000 for top earners.

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Why Should You Choose Us?

Expert Faculty

The program is designed by a panel of expert faculty from SDSU’s College of Education. Our faculty are locally and internationally renowned for their educational leadership. Many are also teacher-scholars, leading researchers, and active practitioners of the concepts that they teach.

Reputation

San Diego State University has a track record for success in pedagogical education. SDSU was originally founded as a school for teachers in 1897. For over 120 years, San Diego State University has been preparing future school leaders for dynamic leadership roles across the world. Today, U.S. News & World Report ranks the College of Education #1 in the California State University system, #8 among all California schools, and #55 among all universities nationwide.

Accessibility

We know that today’s educational professionals are busier than ever. All courses are 100% online, self-directed, and can be completed in just one year, which means that you can prepare for your CalAPA cycles and earn your license on your schedule, without putting your professional responsibilities on hold.

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In order to complete the program, you’ll need to complete all nine courses for a total of 29 units.

Course Units
EDL 630 School Improvement Leadership 3
EDL 650 Professional Growth Leadership 3
EDL 680 Seminar: Evidence-Based Leadership 2
EDL 640 Community Leadership 3
EDL 600 Organizational and System Leadership 3
EDL 610 Visionary Leadership 3
EDL 655 Communication, Problem-Solving and Decision Making in PK-12 Systems 3
EDL 652 Instructional Improvement Leadership 3
EDL 660 Field Experience (Taken twice, once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester; 3 units each) 6


Only students admitted to this program may register for courses.

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Admission Requirements

In order to successfully apply for the Administrative Credential program, you should be currently employed in a PK-12 setting. You should also ensure that you satisfy one of the following conditions:

  • A valid California clear or life teaching credential requiring a bachelor’s degree and a program of professional preparation, including student teaching; or
  • A valid California clear or life Designated Subjects Teaching Credential, provided the holder also possesses a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university or
  • A valid clear or life California Pupil Personnel Services Credential, Teacher Librarian Services Credential, Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential, Clinical or Rehabilitative Services Credential, or a School Nurse Services Credential, requiring a bachelor’s degree and a program of professional preparation, including field practice or the equivalent.

You should also have:

  • Verification of passing CBEST scores or basic skills test
  • 5 years of work experience in your credentialed field by the time of program completion (must be currently working)
  • Recommendation from your site supervisor to be submitted through program application

We understand that every student's academic journey is unique, and we encourage you to contact one of our Student Service Representatives to find out what you'll need to successfully apply to the program.

Out-of-State Applicants

While we welcome out-of-state students, SDSU Global Campus currently cannot accept applications from students residing in the specific states. Please check back often, as this list of approved states does change. View the list of authorized states here.

Application Instructions

To apply for SDSU’s Online Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program, you should:

  1. Submit an application to the University through Cal State Apply. Please select “Education Service Credential - Preliminary Administrative Services.”
  2. Create your SDSU WebPortal Account after receiving your Red ID number to track your progress.
  3. Submit a Program Application to SDSU’s College of Education.
  4. Submit Official Documents to SDSU Graduate Admissions, which include:
    • Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended
      • Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance. If you attended SDSU as an undergraduate student, then we do NOT require official transcripts from SDSU. We have access to this information.
      • Students with international coursework should submit both the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents are in a language other than English, they should be accompanied by a certified English translation.
      • If you’re having transcripts sent electronically via email, have the granting institution send them to TranscriptsForSDSU@sdsu.edu. We accept electronic transcripts in either PDF or EDI format. We will not accept transcripts emailed from students.
      • If you’re having transcripts sent via mail, official documents should be mailed in sealed envelopes to:
        Graduate Admissions
        San Diego State University
        5500 Campanile Drive
        San Diego, CA 92182-7416
      • Please submit your transcripts no later than November 15, 2021.

Please visit SDSU WebPortal to check the status of your transcripts and test scores.

Click here for more information on submitting your transcripts.

Cost

  Unit Cost Program Unit Range* Cost
Tuition $505 29 $14,645
Fees
Associated Students $19 29 $551
Technology $21 29 $609
Student Engagement $21 29 $609
Total Estimated Costs $566   $16,414

* Everyone is unique, your admissions advisor will work with you to determine the right path that suits your needs.
^ Effective with newly admitted students Fall '21

Financial Aid

This program is approved for financial aid. To begin the financial aid process, visit SDSU’s Financial Aid webpage. There, you'll be able to access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If you have any questions regarding the financial aid process, please call the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships on weekdays from 10 am–3 pm at (619) 594-6323.

Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid as soon as possible.

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Contact Information

Courses

2021 Summer2021 Fall2022 Winter2022 Spring
EDL 0610.01 Visionary Leadership
Concepts and techniques of leadership, analysis of factors and practice in procedures of individual and group leadership as applied to preK-12 educational environments.
Course Date(s)


Register
EDL 0630.01 School Improvement Leadership
Analyzing data to identify opportunities for school improvement.

Appropriate and effective school improvement theories and strategies. Communication skills and leading others in improvement and monitoring of these efforts.
Course Date(s)


Register
Instructors
Beverly Prange
EDL 0650.01 Professional Learning and Growth Leadership
Model professional growth development. Principles of adult learning; identify and facilitate appropriate professional growth opportunities for staff. Collaboration with others to achieve mission of improving teaching and learning.
Course Date(s)


EDL 0652.01 Seminar in Instructional Leadership
Improvement of instruction through application of principles and practices in assessment of teaching competency; development of teaching profiles; leadership skills in working with teachers to improve performance.
Course Date(s)


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EDL 0655.01 Communication, Problem Solving, and Decision Making in PK12
Educational leadership principles and practices for communication, problem solving, and decision making in preK-12 schools and educational organizations.
Course Date(s)


Register
Instructors
Toni Faddis
EDL 0660.01 Field Experience in Educational Leadership
Supervised field experience in schools or other educational settings. Monthly sessions with university faculty. Application to take this course must be made during preceding semester. Maximum credit 10 units, of which four units are applicable to a master's degree.
Course Date(s)



Register
EDL 0680.05 Seminar in PreK-12 Educational Administration
Educational administration in preK-12 schools and school districts. Field experience when appropriate. May be repeated with new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Maximum credit six units applicable to a master’s degree.
Course Date(s)


Register
Instructors
Toni Faddis