Administration certification applicants must have completed a master's degree program in the area of administration before seeking certification.
Administrative programs typically focus on educational leadership, and school management skills, giving potential principals a foundation of what it's like to run a school.
Graduate administrative programs must lead to institutional endorsements from a certified official of the program, which signals successful completion and recommendation for certification.
For more information on programs leading to administrative degrees, click here.
A principal must be able to identify with teachers and students, and often, the best way to accomplish this is by being teachers themselves. That's why, before becoming administrators, potential principals must first hold Professional Educator Licenses to teach in the early childhood through adolescent levels.
Additionally, applicants must have accomplished at least three years of successful teaching at any grade level from early childhood to adolescence.
Document and Application Requirements
The DPI requires initial administration applicants to use the ELO System to complete the licensure application.
There are four major areas to complete on the application:
- Applicant Information: Provide a phone number where you can be reached from 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Standard Time.
- License Requested: Indicate the requested license and the date the license should begin
- Experience: Send a work verification form to employers to prove you've gained the experience necessary to be a principal.
- Graduate Education and Institutional endorsement: List graduate degrees and provide endorsement information.
In addition to the requested information, applicants must mail a $100 application fee with their complete application packet that covers the cost of license review and processing.
Candidates for certification must mail their application packets, including fee payments, to the certifying officer of their Wisconsin college or university for endorsement. The college will then forward the application to the DPI.
Criminal History Background Check
Before earning certification, candidates must also fill out a Conduct and Competency Review consisting of 12 yes or no questions about the candidate's past conduct. Questions include items such as “Are you currently on probation, prole, or other court-ordered supervision in any jurisdiction?”
Candidates must completely fill out the review and sign the form in the presence of a notary.
Answers are examined independently, so answering yes on one of the questions does not automatically disqualify a candidate for certification.
For more information on administrative licensing procedures, call the DPI at (800) 266-1027 or visit their office at:
DPI Educator Licensing
Milwaukee, WI 53293-0794