The certification program entails a minimum of 54 graduate hours. The number may be greater, depending on the number of courses taken in one´s graduate program that may be applied to certification. The program involves study in a number of prescribed areas. Minimum course and semester hour requirements are specified in each area; other courses may be elected from a broad spectrum of offerings.
The student´s program involves at least 12 semester hours of general administration research, and field experience; at least 24 semester hours in the area of instruction and curriculum, funds and facilities, school-community relationships, and personnel; at least 18 semester hours in academic fields; and remaining course work taken with the advisor´s approval.
Since many students seeking the superintendent’s letter of eligibility have already completed a master’s degree which often includes principal certification, the number of additional credits needed to complete the superintendent’s certification may be minimal. When a student applies to the program, his or her previous course work is reviewed in regard to the State certification requirements. An individual course plan is then created to permit the student to complete the State requirements. This course plan will be provided to the student prior to matriculation. Information regarding the State requirements for principal certification can be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
After the student has completed all course requirements for the certificate and has shown evidence of scholastic achievement, the student needs to contact the department to have an application sent to them. The department will forward it to the Dean´s Office, College of Education, which, in turn, will send it to Harrisburg. The candidate will receive his certificate in approximately two to three months.