Administrative Certification

In Michigan, school administrator preparation is guided by state law, state administrative rules, and administrator preparation program standards. Additional information is available regarding what administrative positions require the School Administrator Certificate.  

Program Requirements 

As outlined in law (MCL 380.1246), school administrators whose primary responsibility is administering instructional programs must hold a valid School Administrator Certificate. This certificate can be obtained by completing a program for an Elementary & Secondary Admin K-12 (ES) or Central Office (CO) endorsement. Additionally, those administrators in these positions before January 4, 2010, who have maintained their professional learning requirements, are eligible for the Experience-Based Administrator Certificate (EZ).  

Individuals seeking an Elementary & Secondary Administrator K-12 (ES) endorsement must:  

Individuals seeking a Central Office (CO) Endorsement must:  

  • Possess a master’s degree or higher  
  • Complete at least 21 semester credit hours at the post-master’s degree level at an approved preparation program
  • Certificate Application Process  

Application for initial certification based upon an in-state preparation program must be submitted using the Michigan Online Educator Certification System.

Michigan Online Educator Certification System

School Administrator Permit 

In order to employ an individual who does not hold a valid school administrator certificate as a superintendent, principal, assistant principal, or in a position with primary responsibility to administer instructional programs, a district is required to apply in the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) for a School Administrator Permit.  

All of the following are requirements for issuance of a School Administrator Permit:  

  • The required permit fee must be paid.  
  • Within six (6) months of hire date or placement in the administrator position, the individual must enroll in an approved school administrator preparation program. The program provider shall verify the individual’s enrollment and payment of enrollment fees.  
  • The individual shall apply for and obtain from MDE a school administrator certificate within the three years allowed in law. 
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