Frequently Asked Questions
FAST TRACK to Michigan Administrator Certification at CMU
Q: How long does the FAST TRACK program take to complete?
A: If you take the recommended schedule, the program can be completed in one calendar year. You take one eight-week class at a time over the course of three semesters. To allow you to fulfill all of the requirements for administrator certification in this timeframe, you will do your internship or portfolio option concurrently with your coursework. It is not necessary to finish the program in one year. 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 the FAST TRACK 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 at:
Q: Do I need to have teacher certification or teaching experience to be eligible for this program?
A: Neither state law nor CMU requires administrator candidates to hold teacher certification, 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 in your area.
Q: Do I need to complete an internship?
A: State law requires administrator candidates to either have three or more years of experience as a school-level administrator or complete an internship. If you are currently an administrator and have three-plus years of experience as a principal or similar role, you choose a portfolio option to document your experience and demonstrate competency in the state administrator standards.
Q: What are the classes like?
A: Each course is taught in a compressed, fully online, eight-week format with weekly live sessions. The instructor utilizes a learning management system called Blackboard to deliver the content and communicate within the course. The live virtual class meetings are held each week in the evenings for approximately an hour. 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 the FAST TRACK 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 up to 18 of those credits to the Specialist in Educational Leadership, Ed.S., program 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. We recommend all candidates who intend to work outside of Michigan 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 that oversee academic programing are required to hold administrator certification. Other administrative positions, such as business managers, facilities managers, day care operators, preschool administrators, etc. are not required to hold Michigan administrator certification. Additional guidance on state law can be found at: