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 exceptional teachers and school counselors for leadership roles in today's public and private schools. With a focus on instructional leadership and project-based learning, our program transforms professional educators into outstanding principals and school leaders. The program combines university coursework, relevant fieldwork and professional development, and apprenticeship to an exemplary principal through two years of part-time, cohort-based study.

Upon successful completion, candidates 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 PhD in Leadership Studies with a specialization in PK-12 School Leadership.

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

Distinguishing Features

  • Competitive, deeply discounted tuition - per unit cost of $550
  • Personalized apprenticeship placements with outstanding local mentor principals
  • Innovative use of educational technology, including iPads issued to each new student for use during the two-year course of study
  • Credential coursework counts toward a MA or PhD in Leadership Studies with a specialization in PK-12 School Leadership from the University of San Diego
  • Cohort model fosters collaborative learning, support and networking
  • Connections with a network of principals and school leaders abroad for dialogue on international issues in educational leadership
  • Ongoing 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 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 central office administration.

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.