Florida Administration/Principal Certification
The Bureau of Educator Certification of the Florida Department of Education issues two types of certificates for school administrators: Level 1-Educational Leadership (which usually qualifies one to work as an Assistant Principal) and Level 2-School Principal.
- At least a master’s degree by a regionally accredited or approved institution
- Completion of the Florida Educational Leadership Core Curriculum, including coursework in:
- Instructional leadership
- Management of the learning environment
- Learning, assessment and accountability
- Decision making strategies
- Human resource development
- Ethical leadership
- Community/stakeholder partnerships
- Documentation of completion of the Florida Educational Leadership Core Curriculum through one of the following:
- Completing a Florida Department of Education approved Florida pre-service program in educational leadership offered by an approved institution
- A graduate degree major in educational administration, administration and supervision or educational leadership awarded by an approved institution
- A graduate degree with a major in a subject other than educational administration, administration and supervision or educational leadership, and successful completion of a Department of Education approved modified Florida program in educational leadership offered by an acceptable institution
- A graduate degree with a major in a subject other than educational administration, administration and supervision, or educational leadership awarded by an acceptable institution, and 30 semester hours of graduate credit which includes credit in each of the courses in the Florida Educational Leadership Core Curriculum (above)
- Completion of an Educational Leadership training program approved by the Department of Education and offered by a Florida public school district
Learn more about the graduate school process. Contact schools offering educational administration degree programs in Florida.
- You must meet all of the above educational requirements, plus complete a Department of Education approved district school principal certification program, which includes professional development training and experience (as described below)
You must pass the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE). All three subtest areas must be passed:
- Subtest 1 – Instructional Leadership
- Subtest 2 – Operational Leadership
- Subtest 3 – School Leadership
No additional examinations are required to become a School Principal, as you will already have passed the FELE.
No specific experience requirements are set forth to obtain Educational Leadership certification
You must hold a valid Educational Leadership certificate, and have worked full-time in an educational leadership (assistant principal) position in a Florida public school under the supervision of a school principal or manager for at least one year.
Document and Application Requirements
You may apply online for both types of administrative certification. Make sure to have the necessary supporting documentation (official transcripts, copies of teaching and/or educational leadership certificates, etc) sent to: Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Educator Certification, Room 201, Turlington Building, 325 West Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400.
Criminal History Background Check
Once a Florida school has hired you, before beginning work there you must submit to a criminal history background check performed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This involves submitting fingerprints through the public school district’s personnel office. If your fingerprint results return clear, you will be issued a teaching certificate within 30 days of the Bureau of Educator Certification receiving the request from your district.
If you work for a nonpublic school in Florida, your employer will give you a fingerprint card and instructions on where to have the background check completed. You will return the completed card and processing fee to your employer, who will forward it to the Bureau of Educator Certification. Once the FBI and FDLE have cleared you for employment, within 30 days the Bureau will notify your employer and issue your teaching certificate.
If your fingerprinting results return a criminal record, your application will be forwarded to the Bureau of Professional Practices Services for review. They will contact you regarding the necessary information to resolve the situation and determine your eligibility for a teaching certificate as appropriate.
For more information about administrative certification in Florida, contact the Bureau of Educator Certification of the Florida Department of Education at 800-445-6739, or visit their website.