Preliminary Administrative Services Credential

Aspiring Leaders Program

Department of Leadership Studies

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Program Overview

Our Aspiring Leaders Tier I program is designed to prepare outstanding teachers and school counselors for leadership roles in today's public and private schools. With a focus on instructional leadership and practice-based learning, our program transforms professional educators into high-quality principals and school leaders. The program combines university coursework, district mentoring and professional development, and apprenticeship to an exemplary principal to prepare working teachers and school counselors to become outstanding school administrators through two years of part-time, cohort-based study.

Ask us about our blended distance-learning option for Aspiring Leaders in Imperial Valley!

Upon successful completion, students are eligible to apply to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, and may apply credential coursework toward a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies or Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a specialization in PK-12 School Leadership.

Our program was cited as one of the most effective and innovative school leadership programs in the nation by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

Distinguishing Features

  • Count credential coursework toward a M.A. or Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a specialization in PK-12 School Leadership from the University of San Diego
  • Competitive, deeply discounted tuition
  • Cohort model fosters collaborative learning, support and networking
  • Virtual mentorship connections with a network of principals abroad for dialogue on international issues in educational leadership
  • Personalized apprenticeship placements with outstanding local mentor principals
  • Professional development and networking for students and alumni through summer institutesSpotlight on Education speaker series, and ELDA forums for school leaders
  • Access to cutting edge research through our Mobile Technology Learning CenterCenter for Education Policy and Law, and Leadership Institute

Training and Skills

  • Innovative use of educational technology, including iPads issued to each new student in Fall 2013
  • Strategic planning
  • School law
  • Research and evaluation of school data
  • Training in conducting Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)

What can I do with this degree?

Graduates of this program are prepared for leadership positions in K-12 school administration, such as principal, vice principal or superintendent.

Who should apply?

Applicants should have a minimum of five years of full-time teaching or school counseling experience and hold a Clear California Teaching Credential or California Pupil Personnel Services Credential.