a high school building

How to Become a School Administrator with Education Leadership

By: Dr. Murray is the full-time faculty member for the Education Leadership program

Are you an experienced teacher or school administrator with a passion for improving student learning and school effectiveness? You may be looking for a program to expand your leadership capacity, sharpen your ability to impact schools, and further your career. You may be asking yourself, do I need a degree in educational leadership to become an assistant principal or principal? Before addressing that question, let’s address a few important questions:


Where do I want to lead?

If your goal is to be an administrator in a traditional public school (non-charter school), then you will need a master’s degree in educational leadership and licensure as an administrator. Once you have earned these credentials, you will not only be able to work as a public school administrator in the state of your licensure, but you will also be prepared to be an administrator in international schools, independent schools, and most states’ charter schools.


What can I do with a non-licensure degree?

You can earn a master’s degree in educational leadership without getting your license. These are referred to as “non-licensure degrees” and are typically attractive to educators who may not be interested in leading in traditional public schools. If you are interested in being an administrator in a charter school, an independent school, or an international school, then the non-licensure option may be a good fit for you. There is an exception, called the alternative licensure program, where a non-licensed principal may work as an administrator in a traditional public school. This program allows an educator to be hired as a school administrator provided that he or she is simultaneously enrolled in a state-approved principal licensure program.


Where do I want to learn?

Once you know what type of school you want to lead in and whether a licensure or non-licensure program is best for you, it’s time to consider what university can best help you reach your goals. Many universities offer educational leadership degrees and licensure/non-licensure options but CCU’s program is unique in several ways.

The educational leadership program at CCU is intentionally designed to address many of the issues faced by educators in the public and private sectors alike. The goal is to provide you with a tangible framework of leadership skills to prepare you for the challenges faced by school administrators. The CCU program bridges the theoretical and the practical to prepare you for the day-to-day realities of leading in schools.

CCU’s Master of Education in Educational Leadership degree is ideal for those with the desire to improve public, private, charter, or international K-12 education systems. Education professionals, ranging from experienced teachers to curriculum developers, as well as district personnel, are ideal candidates for the program.

Once you’ve addressed were to lead, how to license, and where to learn, you’ll have crafted a strong pathway to becoming an even more successful school administrator using your education leadership degree.


Colorado Christian University does not guarantee any job placement as a result of earning this or any other degrees offered by the university.

Find out what options you have for continuing your education and learning more about a future career in educational leadership.

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