Educational Leadership Certificate

The Educational Leadership Certificate is a 28-credit program for teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers with a minimum of a master's degree seeking PK-12 Principal (5051) licensure through the WI Department of Public Instruction. This program is asynchronous and operate within the philosophy of the learning-in-community, constructivist model with culturally relevant teaching. The program meets the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards, the Wisconsin Administrative Standards, and professional educational requirements for principal licensure in Wisconsin. 

This program is offered to start in spring, summer and fall terms. The program starts when 14 or more students are admitted to a cohort.

Admission requirements

To quality for admission to the Educational Leadership Certificate, a candidate for the program must:

  • Meet all UWL graduate application requirements.
  • Hold a master’s degree in education or closely related field from an accredited institution.
  • Have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.85 or higher on a 4.00 scale.
  • Provide a resume that documents at least one year of full-time employment in a K-12 setting and current position in a K-12 school.
  • Provide a copy of applicant's teacher license.

  • Complete a successful criminal background check (initiated by UWL).

Admission on probation

Students may be admitted on probation if they do not meet the minimum academic or graduate program admission requirements. Upon completion of nine graduate credits or two terms (whichever comes first) with a grade point average of 3.00 or above, the students will be removed from probation. Students admitted on probation will be dismissed from graduate study if their cumulative GPA is below 3.00 after completing nine graduate credits or two terms (whichever comes first). More information is in the graduate academic eligibility policy.

Criminal background check

The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that candidates for admission to a teacher education, administration, or pupil services program successfully pass a criminal background check (CBC) as one criterion for admission. By applying for admission to one of these programs, candidates agree to provide the necessary personal information to UWL in order to initiate their CBC and to complete their portion of the process prior to the deadline specified in their admission letter. Program candidates are responsible for all costs associated with their criminal background check(s).

Out-of-state applicants

This program may meet other states' licensing requirements. An applicant's state may or may not require that the applicant get a Wisconsin teaching license to be endorsed for their program of study. The Wisconsin licensing process may include taking coursework in Native American Studies (ACT 31). The applicant should check with their state licensing board prior to applying to ensure they understand the appropriate pathway to meet their state's licensing requirements.


Required courses:
EDU 765Introduction to Educational Leadership3
EDU 766The Principalship3
EDU 767Data-based Decision Making for Instruction3
EDU 768Supervision and Evaluation3
EDU 769Leadership and Cultural Competence3
EDU 770School Law3
EDU 771School Finance and Resource Allocation3
EDU 772Inclusive Pedagogical Practices I2
EDU 782Inclusive Pedagogical Practices II1
EDU 773Practicum in the Principalship and Practicum Seminar4
Total Credits28

Program completion

Eligibility for Educational Leadership (5051) certification is contingent upon:

  • Cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
  • Satisfactory completion of Educational Leadership Program coursework, associated experiences, and artifacts (including an administrative portfolio)
  • Have completed three years of successful full-time teaching experience at any of the grades at the early childhood through adolescence developmental range, OR have completed three years of successful experience as a school counselor, a school psychologist, or a school social worker, which includes evidence of at least 540 hours of successful classroom teaching experience (PI 34.065(4))
  • Completed DPI employment verification form documenting completion of at least three years of employment as described above in K-12 schools or hold a WI Lifetime Teacher/Administrator license