K-12 Principal License

In this time of severe financial strains, of new learning patterns, of changes in the work force, schools are looking for leaders who are not only competent, but also inspirational.

At Bethel, we prepare K-12 principals to be those inspirational leaders. 

Through an ethics-based approach, we develop educators both professionally and personally for meaningful service in their communities. Plus, our program retention rate of 97% speaks for itself—students find that our professors and mentors deliver the right blend challenging work and personal support.

Who is the K-12 Principal license for?

This license is for teachers who have 3 years of teaching experience and want to serve as a licensed K-12 principal. If you do not have the required 3 years of teaching experience, you can add a teaching internship to your program to meet the requirement.

The program is designed to help educators build skills in:

  • Leadership
  • Organizational management and communication
  • Diversity leadership
  • Policy, law, political influence, and governance
  • Community relations
  • Curriculum planning and development
  • Human resources management
  • Values and ethics of leadership
  • Judgment and problem analysis
  • Safety and security

How is the program structured?

The K-12 Principal license is offered through our cohort-based program completed over 3 years where students move through their courses with the same group of peers. All students also complete an internship in their local area.

  • Doctorate track: Earn your K-12 Principal license along with an educational administration license as part of the Doctor of Education.
  • License-only track: Earn only the K-12 Principal license.

Students complete their course work online during the traditional school year and through 2-week residencies in the summer. Take a look at the sample schedule to get a feel for the typical program structure:

Year 1 Courses
Summer residency (2 weeks) Historical, Cultural, and Philosophical Issues Impacting School Administration (EDUC800)
Online courses
Principles of Organizational Leadership (EDUC805)
  Curriculum and Instructional Management, and Student Development (EDUC810)
  Technology in K-12 Education (EDUC815)
Year 2
Summer residency (2 weeks) Leading in a Complex and Pluralistic Society (EDUC825)
Online courses
Administration of Essential Educational Programs (EDUC830)
  Measurement and Assessment  (EDUC835)
  Administrative Operations and Personnel Administration (EDUC840)
Year 3
Online courses
Leaders as Agents of Change (EDUC855)
  Legal Issues in School Administration (EDUC860)
  Resource Management in K-12 Education (EDUC865)
Scheduled independently Comprehensive Examination and Portfolio Review (EDUC880)
  Principal Internship (EDUC886)

Non-research courses are primarily built upon the core, principal, and superintendent competencies as identified in Minnesota Statute 3512.0400.

How is the license awarded?

The K-12 Principal license is awarded through the Minnesota Board of School Administrators after completing all required steps, including:

  • Principal Internship: A paid or unpaid school-based experience of at least 320 hours to be completed over 12 continuous months (200 hours for certified elementary or secondary principals seeking K-12 license). Students are placed in their local area.
  • Electronic Portfolio: A portfolio demonstrating skills learned throughout the program through audio, video, and other forms of electronic documentation.
  • License Review Panel: A panel of practicing administrators and program directors reviews each student based on their eFolio, a presentation, and a question and answer session with the panel. A license application process is initiated for students who meet the standards. Students who do not meet the standards will work with their director and advisor to reinforce skills that need improvement.