Principal Certification

The Principal Certification program allows individuals who are interested in leadership positions in K-12 schools to achieve the skills they need to become effective school leaders.  The certification courses may be completed as a stand alone program (for students who already have a master's degree), or the course work may be included as part of the Master of Education in Education Leadership.  The courses will increase knowledge of supervision of others, effective management strategies, principles of finance, Texas School Law as well as skills needed to pass the TExES Examination for Principal Certification.

Faculty contact:  Dr. Maria B. Roberts (903)223-3161,

Admission Requirements

  1. Admission to the university
  2. Transcript showing Bachelor’s degree or above on file with Admissions office
  3. If not degree seeking, a professional reference from a Texas A&M University-Texarkana professor in Educational Administration
  4. Cumulative 3.0 GPA or 3.0 GPA in last 60 hours of undergraduate degree program
  5. A valid classroom teaching certificate
  6. Students must apply for the certificate program through the TK20 System.

Additional Requirements for Principal Certificate

  1. Hold valid Masters degree
  2. Maximum 12 semester credit hours transfer allowed
  3. Two (2) years classroom teaching experience
  4. Admission to the Professional Teacher Education Program
  5. Pass Principal TExES exam

Upon completion of course work and additional requirements, student must apply to the State Board for Educator Certification for the certificate and submit appropriate fee.

Probationary Certificate requires completion of four (4) of the required courses (excluding ED 520) for initial (1-year) probationary certificate.  Additional yearly renewal will require proof of adequate progress toward program completion.  Probationary certificate may be  renewed twice for a total of three (3) years.

Note: Degree seeking students must contact the Office of Graduate Studies for degree information.

Certification Requirements

Required Courses
EDLD 531Instructional Leadership3
EDLD 540School Finance and Management3
EDLD 570Texas School Law3
EDLD 574Administration of Special and Compensatory Programs3
EDLD 567Supervision of Instruction3
EDLD 580Data Analysis for Campus Improvement3
EDLD 588Principal Internship3
Total Hours21

Principal Certification Courses

EDLD 510. Curriculum Studies. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to develop comprehensive understanding of modern curricular trends. The course includes historical data and current research with emphasis on aims, purposes, and outcomes of curricular changes.

EDLD 531. Instructional Leadership. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to provide both the knowledge and skills needed by an instructional leader in the application of a development system that is based upon a culture that is ethical, learner-centered, collaborative, continuously seeking to improve, and facilitates the achievement of high expectations. The goal is to attain and sustain leader behavior that assures quality student performance that enhances the probability of success through the application of a systemic approach that emphasizes the interrelationships that exist between and among the following Instructional Leadership Development components: data-driven decision making, supervision, professional development, organizational management, curriculum-instruction-assessment, evaluation, and community partnerships-communication. Prerequisite: Admitted into the Educator Preparation Program or by instructor permission.

EDLD 540. School Finance and Management. 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 560. Technology for School Improvement. 3 Hours.

This course is designed for graduate students and includes technology for school improvement. Topics include information connecting learning communities, curriculum integration, staff development, sustainment of infrastructure and planning for the future. The class will have opportunities to work directly with programs on campus.

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. 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. This course involves field-based challenges emphasizing a high level of professional personnel accountability. As a result of increase in litigation throughout our global society, school leaders must be able to deal with a multitude of legal issues regarding constitutional rights, contracts, property claims, and torts, along with the impact of curriculum/instructing/assessment, plus student and employee rights in case law influencing the public schools. A primary focus will be on certification proficiencies and competencies as outlined by the State Board of Educator Certification Frameworks.

EDLD 574. Administration of Special and Compensatory Programs. 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 Campus 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 children. Special emphasis will be on continuous improvement of the campus through the use of analysis of demographic, perception, learning, and school process data. Additionally, the course focuses on the development of educators as leaders in assessment, research, and evaluation.

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.

EDLD 611. Doctoral Seminar. 3 Hours.

The Doctoral Seminar provides support and information to help graduate students in the Doctor of Education programs to successfully navigate the doctoral process. This course will focus on graduate level writing skills, writing literature reviews, APA formatting, use of library and university systems, and requisite skills to be successful in the program. Prerequisite: Admission into the doctoral program.

EDLD 612. Strategic Management and Change. 3 Hours.

To succeed in the future, leaders must develop the resources and capabilities needed to gain and sustain an advantage in traditional and emerging education markets. The focus of this course will be the strategic management for successful change with respect to the intended direction and goals of the organization; the organization's strengths and weaknesses; the current market structure; and the social, political, technological, economic, adn global environments.

EDLD 613. Education and Non-Profit Law, Policy and Futurism. 3 Hours.

Students will examine the legal framework for education including the United States Constitution, federal and state statutes, and the body of case law affecting all aspects of education and non-profit organizations. Current policy and legal statutes are evaluated in relationship to the concepts and changes in futurism and the global issues in the field of education and other non-profit ventures. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

EDLD 622. Communication for Organizational Leaders. 3 Hours.

Communication style and effectiveness of organizational leaders greatly impacts the success of individual education organizations. Knowledge of the pervasive impact of the computer, Internet, intranet, and other communication modalities will be integrated with time-honored communication principles to enable students to maximize their effectiveness in dynamic educational environments. In addition to community and internal organizational communication, students will focus on leading meetings, presentation skills, and dealing with criticism and conflict. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

EDLD 623. Education Marketing and Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Effective public relations and marketing skills are essential to the success of all education organizations. Public relations and marketing efforts address how we want to present the organization to others (including "branding") and how to deal with the perceptions of who others believe we are. This course will help prepare students to engage in successful marketing and public relations to promote a variety of efforts, including fundraising, bond issues, and other priority goals in the education arena.

EDLD 624. Applied Instructional Technologies. 3 Hours.

This course provides students with an overview of current topics, trends and issues affecting technology and technological needs in the PK-12 environment. Special attention will be placed on current technology related trends, such as the application of Bring Your Own Device Policies (BYOD) and flipped classroom techniques. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

EDLD 625. Field Study in National and International Cultural Perspectives. 3 Hours.

This course serves to broaden students' cultural and sociological perspective in education through a trip to Universidad Catolica de Pereira in Colombia, South America to visit PK12 schools in the region and Washington D.C. Public Schools. The trip includes visits to the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) national office, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) national office, the Department of Education, and U.S. Congress. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

EDLD 632. Contemporary Issues in Educational Leadership. 3 Hours.

This course explores contemporary issues that educational leaders face as they continue to lead their districts to higher levels of performance and achievement. A strong emphasis is placed on continuous improvement models as a foundation for implementing educational reform policies and mandates. A variety of topics such as current legal, political, social, cultural and economic issues as they relate to educational policy and decision-making will be discussed. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

EDLD 661. Dissertation Prospectus Development. 3 Hours.

This course explores the theory, design frameworks, and how they relate to research methodologies in education. Various applications of research and procedures including quantitative analyses, naturalistic inquiry, research design, and preparation of research proposals as they relate to the discipline of educational administration constitute the core topics of this course. The end product of this course will be Chapter 1 of the dissertation proposal. These proposals will be used to determine dissertation chair assignments. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program. This course is to be taken in the final semester of course work before dissertation.

EDLD 662. Methods of Inquiry. 3 Hours.

As an in-depth study of the theoretical and methodological approaches to qualitative research, students will explore the sociological/anthropological roots of qualitative research and apply these methodologies in practical situations related to executive leadership in education. The research approaches studied in this course include: ethnography, phenomenology, case studies, grounded theory, naturalistic inquiry, and thematic synthesis. Technologies that assist qualitative researchers in their investigations are utilized throughout this course. The development of doctoral research proposals, using qualitative research methods, is emphasized through this course. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

EDLD 663. Statistical Methods in Educational Leadership. 3 Hours.

The course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills needed to read, analyze, and synthesize educational research to give the student necessary fundamentals to develop and conduct doctoral level research. As an in-depth study of the theoretical and methodological approaches to quantitative research, students explore foundations of quantitative research and apply these methodologies in practical situations related to executive leadership in education. The research processes studied in this course include: univariate statistics, including the use of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) with exercises related to various descriptive and inferential statistical techniques, and survey and action research analysis and design. The development of doctoral research proposals, using quantitative research methods, is emphasized throughout this course. Prerequisite: Admission to the doctoral program.

EDLD 670. Critical Conversations and Team Building. 3 Hours.

Building collaborative teams that are cohesive with accountability and purpose requires specific skills and training that is crucial for successful education leaders in a variety of settings. This course will focus on the critical communication skills necessary to manage personnel effectively, having critical conversations and best practices in team building. This course provides the opportunity for students to develop these skills and apply them in varied settings.

EDLD 690. Leadership of the Education Community. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to provide prospective public school superintendents/CEOs and other executive leaders with the knowledge and skills incorporated in Domain I of the test framework for Texas Superintendent Standards - Leadership of the Educational Community. The competencies included with Domain I address: (1) acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner; (2) the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning; (3) communication and collaboration with families and community members, including mobilizing community resources; and (4) responding to the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context, including working with governance boards. The application of sound leadership principles developed in the business sector will be translated into effective strategies for the leadership of large governmental agencies. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Educator Preparation Program or instructor permission.

EDLD 691. Superintendent Internship. 3 Hours.

Internship activities in all SBEC superintendent standards will be required unless determined unnecessary by the instructor based on the student's prior experiences. Internship sites shall include private business, local or state government and/or management, public schools, public school support institutions, non-profit organizations, and/or others as determined appropriate on an individual basis. Prerequisite: Program Director's approval.

EDLD 693. Dissertation Research. 1-3 Hours.

A candidate must present a dissertation acceptable to the student's advisory committee and the Dean for Graduate Studies and Research on a problem in the area of specialization. To be acceptable, the dissertation must give evidence that the candidate has pursued a program of research, the results of which reveal superior academic competence and a significant contribution to knowledge. The focus of this course is to complete the final chapter of the dissertation and defend the dissertation. This course may be repeated until successful defense of the dissertation. Prerequisite: EDLD 692, EDLD 671, EDLD 672, and admission to candidacy.

EDLD 694. Instructional Leadership. 3 Hours.

Leadership at the chief executive officer (CEO) level is the theme of this standards-based course. The application of strategic planning skills to enhance teaching and learning; to ensure alignment among curriculum, curriculum resources, and assessment; and to support the collection and use of multiple measures of success are promulgated through the requirements of this course. Emphasis is placed on skills designed to advocate, nurture, and sustain an instructional program and a culture that supports student learning and staff professional growth. Staff evaluation, improving staff performance, and effective models of supervision are emphasized. Prerequisite: Principal certification or Program Director's approval.

EDLD 698. Administrative Leadership. 3 Hours.

Public school finance at the superintendent level and the general operation of the business office and other peripheral support functions of a public school will be studied. Related topics include student food services, transportation, facility management, maintenance and construction, development and marketing of bond elections, human resource management, district level budget development and management, data managment/analysis, and safe schools. Technology based infrastructure that supports student, personnel, and financing management will also be evaluated. The application of organizational, decision-making and problem-solving skills to facilitate position in varied contexts. Prerequisite: Principal certification or Program Director's approval.


Dr. Elaine L. Wilmore

Department Chair, Education Leadership

Associate Professor


Dr. Maria B. Roberts

Master's and Principal Program Coordinator

Associate Professor


Dr. Amy Burkman

Doctoral Program Coordinator

Assistant Professor