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.

Featured 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.


Estimated Cost Estimated Cost
Textbooks not included
Completion Time Min. Completion Time
1 Year
Course Format Course Format
Fully Online

Online Administrative Credential Program

Fall 2020 Start Date: August 24. Cal State Application Deadline: July 1.

Cal State Apply Here

Program Application Deadline: July 1.

Program Application Here

Submitting Your Transcripts

Note: If you attended SDSU as an undergraduate student, then we do NOT require official transcripts from SDSU. We have access to this information.
Official transcripts must be submitted by July 1 from the granting institution. They can be sent via email or mail.

  • To check the status of your transcripts and test scores, see SDSU WebPortal.

Transcripts must be sent by the institution

Have your official test scores and transcripts sent to SDSU Graduate Admissions:

Via email:

When requesting an electronic transcript, you can choose San Diego State University on the selection menu or have them emailed to:  TranscriptsForSDSU@sdsu.edu.

  • SDSU will not accept transcripts emailed from students.
  • SDSU accepts electronic transcripts in PDF or EDI format.

Via mail:

Have mailed transcripts sent to SDSU Graduate Admissions:

Graduate Admissions
SDSU - Enrollment Services
5500 Campanile Dr.
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

Information on submitting transcripts can also be found at: http://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/admissions/grad/apply/step3.html

What to Expect from the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential Program
Student cohorts begin the program in spring or fall semesters. Each cohort includes approximately 25–35 students, all of whom are working professionals in public or private schools or other educational settings. Coursework is completed in 1 year, over 3 semesters (e.g., spring, summer, and fall). Your cohort is your learning community — it also serves as a support system providing encouragement as needed.

Classes are online and self-directed. Expect to spend 10 hours per week on the learning platform and completing coursework. In addition, you will complete job-embedded tasks that allow you to practice leadership. Field experiences are required and are supervised by university instructors along with a local site mentor.

Four years of teaching experience, Clear CA credential, and recommendation from site supervisor to be submitted through department application.

Students must currently be working in a teaching position in order to complete the field experience course.

Fall 2020 Online PASC Cohort Sequence

Class Meeting Dates (7 week courses w/ some overlapping in the summer and fall semesters)

Semester Course
 Fall 2020 EDL 652 Instructional Improvement Leadership
 Fall 2020 EDL 655 Communication, Problem-Solving and Decision Making in PK-12 Systems
 Fall 2020 EDL 640 Community Leadership
 Spring 2021 EDL 630 School Improvement Leadership
 Spring 2021 EDL 610 Visionary Leadership
 Spring 2021 EDL 660 Field Experience
 Spring 2021 EDL 680 Seminar: Evidence-Based Leadership
 Summer 2021 EDL 600 Organizational and System Leadership
 Summer 2021 EDL 660 Field Experience


Curriculum developed by SDSU College of Education faculty, some of who sit on the design team of the new California Administrator Performance Assessment.


All students should apply for Financial Aid as soon as possible.

For additional information please email adminservices.ces@sdsu.edu or call (619) 594-0845.

Only students admitted to this program may register.


2020 Spring2020 Summer2020 Fall
2020 Summer
EDL 0600.01 Organizational and Systems Leadership
Educational administration and leadership as a profession. Related organizational concepts and management theories. Principles and competencies for leadership and administrative practice as each relates to the aspiring school administrator.
Course Date(s)
July 13 - September 4
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)

EDL 0630.02 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)

David Lorden
2020 Summer
EDL 0640 Community Leadership
Increasing family and community involvement in schools. Improving student achievement through using educational leadership strategies and resources.
Course Date(s)
June 15 - July 31
James Wright
EDL 0660 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)

Janice Cook
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)