Certification Pathway

Preparation for the School Administrator certificate can be accomplished through the Certification Pathway Program (CPP), for those who already hold an education-related master’s degree. Certification Pathway students generally complete the core courses required in the K-12 Master’s in Education Administration. The program blends face-to-face and online learning and is designed for working educators.

Required coursework for the Certification Pathway Program is guided by the Michigan Standards for Building-level Administrators.

If you wish to speak with an advisor about the possibility of the Certification Pathway Program, please contact Dr. Melissa Usiak via email at usiakmel@msu.edu or k12adm@msu.edu.

Certification Pathway Program Courses

The Certification Pathway Program includes a minimum of 18 credits earned in the Department of Educational Administration. Students will complete an internship, which increases the total credits to 21.

Course NumberTitle
EAD 806
The Evolving Practice of School Leaders
EAD 811
Inquiry and Analysis of Teaching and Learning
EAD 812
Inquiry and Analysis of School Organizations
EAD 822
3 credits
Engaging Diverse Students & Families
EAD 853
3 credits
Educational Finance and Policy
EAD 852
3 credits
EAD 820
3 credits
School Leadership Internship (register Fall, stretches across Fall and Spring)

Students with School Administration Experience

Candidates who hold employment with school-level administrative responsibilities may be eligible to apply for a waiver from the internship. The waiver requires documentation that the candidate engages in activities aligned to the Michigan Standards for the Preparation of School Administrators:

  1. Description of responsibility: The description must provide details of what the candidate does in support of the instructional program, and how it correlates to the Michigan Standards.
  2. Artifact submission: The candidate submits artifacts of activities that match the description provided. Artifacts are scanned as a PDF and attached to the application or hyperlinks to the artifacts are provided.
  3. Signature of a district supervisor: This signature offers assurance that the candidate is “fit” for service as a building level administrator with supervisory responsibility for the instructional program. Most candidates will secure a signature from the district superintendent or an assistant superintendent.

If you think you may be eligible to apply for a waiver, please contact the K-12 Unit directly to inquire at k12adm@msu.edu

Application and Registration

Students pursuing the Certification Pathway Program do NOT apply to the MA program.

Please register under Graduate Certification status by completing the Lifelong application and checking the box that indicates coursework is taken for certification. Graduate certification status allows the student to avoid paying matriculation fees. Students should understand that they cannot transfer more than 9 Graduate Certification credits into any MSU degree program. Students who decide to earn credits under the Graduate Certification status must still apply to the Department. To apply, please contact  k12adm@msu.edu.

Check the schedule of courses at student.msu.edu

Certification Pathway Program Frequently Asked Questions

If you have further questions, please send them along to Professor BetsAnn Smith at bas@msu.edu