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Principal and Assistant Principal Certification

Standard Administrative Services Credential  |  Initial Administrative Services Credential

Standard Administrative Services Credential

Qualified applicants may be issued a standard four-year renewable school administrator credential, if the applicant:

  • Holds a completed bachelor’s degree
  • Has completed an approved program that leads to a state certification in school leadership and supervision OR holds a completed master’s degree or higher
  • Has completed four years of school based teaching, instructional leadership or pupil services experience.  Substitute teaching experience does not apply.
  • Has passing scores for the DC-required school leadership licensure exam

Required documents to apply for a standard credential

  1. An FBI personal criminal history report (PCHR) issued within the previous twelve months. For information on how to obtain your PCHR report and procedures for current DC Public Schools (DCPS) employees, please read these instructions.
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions where a degree AND school leadership training preparation have been completed. Applicants who completed studies at institutions outside of the United States must submit a proper foreign credential evaluation report regarding those studies.
  3. Program completion verification form signed by the verifying certification officer of the institution where the school leadership program was completed. If you completed your program with a DC-based institution, you must contact the certification official at your institution to obtain the form. Required only if you completed an approved program.
  4. Verification of prior full-time experience form. If the employing agency verifying the employment experience issues an official system generated record of employment, that document may be submitted in lieu of the OSSE verification form.
  5. All pages of examinee score report verifying passing scores for the DC-required school leadership exam OR comparable exam passed in another state where a valid license is held.
  6. A copy of your valid full principal license in another state when presenting score reports for a comparable licensure exam passed in another state.

Initial Administrative Services Credential

Applicants who do not meet current requirements for a standard credential, may be eligible for a one-time nonrenewable initial credential. Initial administrator credentials are valid for two years and may be issued, if the applicant:

  • Holds a completed bachelor’s degree;
  • Has completed an approved program that leads to a state certification in school leadership and supervision OR  holds a valid full principal license in another state OR holds a completed master’s degree or higher;
  • Has completed at two years of school based teaching, instructional leadership or pupil services experience. Substitute teaching experience does not apply.

Required documents to apply for an initial credential

  1. An FBI personal criminal history report (PCHR) issued within the previous twelve months. For information on how to obtain your PCHR report and procedures for current DC Public Schools (DCPS) employees, please read these instructions.
  2. Official transcripts from the institution where you hold a completed bachelor’s degree. Applicants who completed studies at institutions outside of the United States must submit a proper foreign credential evaluation report regarding those studies.
  3. Program completion verification form signed by the verifying certification officer of the institution where the school leadership program was completed. If you completed your program with a DC-based institution, you must contact the certification official at your institution to obtain the form; OR
  4. A copy of your valid full principal license held in another state; OR
  5. Official transcripts from the institution where you hold a completed master’s degree or higher;
  6. Verification of prior full-time experience form. If the employing agency verifying the employment experience issues an official system generated record of employment, that document may be submitted in lieu of the OSSE verification form.