FAST TRACK to Michigan Administrator Certification

The Fast Track to Michigan Administrator Certification program is an accelerated 18 credit program that prepares educators for the Elementary and Secondary (ES) administrator endorsement.  

If you have a master’s degree and want to move into administration at the building level, CMU can help you earn the credentials you need in just one year to administrator certification is embedded in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership degree at CMU. If you already have a master’s degree, all you need to take are the six certification core courses. Your advisor will work with you to ensure that you only take the courses you need.

  • Each eight-week course is taught online.
  • Complete the program in 1 year.
  • No entrance examinations are required.
  • Federal financial aid is available.

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Frequently asked questions

Q: How long does this program take to complete?

A: One calendar year if follow the recommended schedule. You take one eight-week class at a time over the course of three semesters. To fulfill all of the requirements for administrator certification in this timeframe, you will do your internship, exam, and portfolio concurrently with your coursework. The program is structured for you to go as fast or take as long as you would like

Q: What will I receive after completing this program?

A: This is a Michigan Department of Education approved Administrator Certification Preparation program in elementary and secondary school administration, ES endorsement. Upon completing the program requirements, you will be recommended to the MDE for approval of your state administrator certification. This program does not provide a degree or other CMU credential.

Q: Do I need a master’s degree for this program?

A: Yes, the state requires that all certification candidates hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. You can search to see if your degree qualifies.

Q: Do I need teacher certification or have teaching experience to be eligible for this program?

A: No, but it is encouraged. CMU does require three or more years of full-time instructional experience, e.g., activities around the curriculum and instruction of an educational program. We recommend that you become familiar with any additional experience or requirements that may be necessary to be employed as an administrator.

Q: Do I need to complete an internship?

A: You must have either over six months of experience as a school-level administrator or complete an internship. 

Q: What are the classes like?

A: Courses are taught in a compressed, online, eight-week format. The instructor utilizes a learning management system called Blackboard to deliver the content and communicate within the course. Live one-hour virtual class meetings are held in the evening each week. You will participate in readings, exercises and assignments, discussion boards, and complete written assignments. The projects are intended to allow you to explore issues in your professional environment and are performance-based.


Q: Does this program lead to an advanced degree?

A: Although the Fast Track option itself does not provide a degree, it is embedded in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program. This allows students to complete another master’s degree with the addition of three courses, which is nine additional credits. The department recommends that you secure your state license and then continue on to complete the master’s degree. Six of the nine credits then count toward your five-year administrator certification renewal. Fast Track students also may elect to take their 21 credits for administrator certification and then transfer those credits to the Specialist in Educational Leadership, Ed.S., or the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership programs at CMU.

Q: Is the Michigan administrator certification transferable to other states?

A: Yes, most states have reciprocity with Michigan’s educator certification, including administrator requirements.  Some states may require a separate state exam or other requirements, so we recommend all candidates who intend to work outside of Michigan to contact their state education department to determine if the Michigan certification will transfer. 

Q: Is administrator certification required for all administrative positions in education?

A: No, only positions in Michigan’s K-12 Public school system, who oversee academic programing are required to hold administrator certification.  Other administrative positions, such as business managers, facilities managers, daycare operators, preschool administrators, etc. are not required to hold Michigan administrator certification.  Additional guidance on state law.

Q: How do I apply for the program?

A: Apply online to the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program. Along with the application student should submit a current resume, two professional letters of recommendation, two-page statement, and two significant activities sharing your experience and potential for educational administration.