Principal Certification

Education Leadership (EDLD) provides a Principal Certification Program at A&M-Texarkana offering 1) a 30-hour Master’s Degree in Education Leadership, or  2) an 18-hour Principal Certification-Only program with an ongoing principal practicum lab.  Both programs provide students with the necessary skills to become effective school administrators within today’s educational climate. Courses are delivered fully online and emphasize quality interactions between the instructor and student. The format for courses is tailored to meet the demands of today’s busy professional educators and graduate students. Should you have programmatic questions regarding the Master’s Degree or Principal Certification Program, please contact  Dr. Trisha Gerrish Ray at for assistance. 

Unique Features of This Program

  • Small class sizes
  • Practitioner-based skills
  • Authentic, campus-based, leadership activities
  • Program can be completed in five semesters (three semesters for certification-only)
  • Delivered to meet the needs of working students: web-enhanced evening classes using Zoom technology

Admission Requirements

  1. Graduate application and processing fee ($30 for US citizens/permanent residents, $50 for international applicants) via program website
  2. Official TOEFL scores are taken within the last two years (international students only)
  3. Baccalaureate degree
  4. Cumulative 3.0 GPA or 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of an undergraduate degree program
  5. Official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended
  6. Students must apply for this certificate program through the TK20 System. Refer to the program website
  7. Interview with education leadership department faculty
  8. Letter of support from current principal (form letter in application)

Requirements must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office by the designated deadline of first semester of enrollment.

Certification Requirements

Required Courses
EDLD 531Instructional Leadership3
EDLD 540Campus Strategic Operations3
EDLD 570Texas School Law (EL)3
EDLD 574Ethics, Equity, and Diversity3
EDLD 567Supervision of Instruction3
EDLD 580Data Analysis for School Improvement3
EDLD 588Principal Internship3
Total Hours21

Principal Certification Courses

EDLD 531. Instructional Leadership. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to provide both the knowledge and skills needed by an instructional leader to establish and implement a shared vision and culture of high expectations for all stakeholders in the education community. Key concepts include strategies to work with educators and the community as key partners to support student learning. Prerequisite: Admitted into the Educator Preparation Program or by instructor permission.

EDLD 540. Campus Strategic Operations. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to focus on the role of the principal in the planning, development and implementation of the financial aspect of a campus including budgeting, purchasing, human resources, and business office management that most effectively and equitably meets the identified instructional needs of the building and specifically supports increased student achievement as specified in the campus improvement plan. The management component of the course will address scheduling, discipline, and facility management.

EDLD 567. Supervision of Instruction. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to focus on the role of the principal in promoting improved instruction in the classroom through the evaluation and professional development of faculty. Aspects of clinical supervision, including classroom observation, conferencing skills, and development of improvement plans through systemic staff development will be emphasized.

EDLD 570. Texas School Law (EL). 3 Hours.

This course is designed to examine the legal framework and study the impact of any relationship between constitutional law, statutory law, administrative law, and judicial law that influence school administrators and faculty. School leaders must be able to manage a multitude of legal issues. Therefore, this course will have a focus on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), privacy rights, student attendance, discipline, personnel law, special programs, and sexual discrimination [Title IX] from the perspective of a campus principal.

EDLD 574. Ethics, Equity, and Diversity. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to prepare students to administer special and compensatory education programs. Emphasis is on basic concepts, issues, problems, and procedures in the management of special and compensatory education. The student's evaluation of these programs will be from both the legal and ethical perspectives that guide decisions necessary to provide opportunities for all students to be successful in school.

EDLD 580. Data Analysis for School Improvement. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to focus on analyzing and interpreting campus and community data for decision making necessary to promote the success of all learners. Special emphasis will be on continuous improvement of the campus through analyzing demographic, perception, assessment, and school process data.

EDLD 588. Principal Internship. 3 Hours.

This course is designed as a field-based course in which the student practices acquired skills and theories in an educational setting at the middle level management position. Prerequisite: Program Coordinator's approval.

EDLD 589. Individual Study. 3 Hours.

This course is designed for individual instruction. It may be repeated when topics vary.


The faculty of the Education Leadership Master’s Degree and Principal Certification Program are professional educators who bring their Texas public school leadership experiences to the program. Our faculty have served as assistant principals, principals, coordinators, directors, assistant superintendents, and superintendents in various school districts. Their field-based understandings combined with active research agendas make for the best possible learning opportunities as students seek to become educational leaders who will make a difference in schools, school districts, and local communities.

Trisha Gerrish Ray, EdD
Principal Program Coordinator or 903-334-6680

Rebeca Cooper, EdD

Melba Foster, EdD

Mary Beth Womack, EdD