Educational Leadership Certification (Level 1) - Program Information


The Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Education’s (COE) Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology (ELRM) has as its mission to contribute to the personal and professional growth of current and potential leaders who serve educational agencies or individuals in a variety of settings. The purpose of the School Leaders Program is to prepare and support school leaders in public and private educational institutions. The Certification Program prepares aspiring teacher leaders and assistant principals to meet the challenges of today’s schools. In cooperation with Florida public school districts, the program of study includes leadership theory, professional knowledge, and school-based clinical experiences. Completion of this program, in combination with three years of successful teaching experience, previous achievement of a Masters degree from an accredited university or college, and passing the Florida Educational Leadership Exam (FELE) leads to Florida Educational Leadership Certification (Level I) which qualifies an individual to serve as a public school assistant principal, intern assistant principal, intern principal, or interim principal.

In addition to engaging students in learning considered as world class by the profession, the Certification Program incorporates the Florida Leadership Standards, Competencies, and Skills which are measured through the FELE. It also complies with program requirements specified by NCATE and ISLCC Standards. Students who complete this program are prepared to sit for the FELE examination, and must pass the exam in order to finish the program.

Certification Program Description

The School Leaders Masters Program is built on the Conceptual Framework of the COE and three major domains that the ELRM requires for leadership learning; Leadership Foundations, Professional Knowledge, and Experiential Learning. EDL believes that learning in these three domains will develop informed, capable, ethical and reflective decision making professionals.

The first domain, Leadership Foundations, provides the student with learning specifically about leadership. Leadership is a relationship between leaders and followers who work together toward common goals to effect change in an ethical way. The theory, learning, and application of leadership are provided through the three core courses that are required for all ELRM programs.

The remaining two domains are Professional Knowledge and Experiential Learning. In Professional Knowledge, students learn about specialized fields of school leadership including school operations and management, governance, law, instructional leadership, and school community. In Experiential Learning, students take internship courses with curricula that are built practicing assistant principal-level activities. These internships are semester-specific (Fall, Spring, and Summer). Each internship course presents different knowledge and skills applications. The curriculum of each internship is centered on the activities occurring during each of the Fall, Spring, and Summer school administrative calendar time frames.

Eligibility and Admission

Certificate candidates must currently hold a Masters Degree from a regionally accredited college or university to enter FAU's Department of Educational Leadership program. They must then:

  1. Contact the Certificate Program Advisor Dr. J. Hardman (
  2. Submit to their program advisor and the department's program assistant, Ms. Kathleen DuBois ( the Program Planning Form for the Florida Certificate Program, the Sponsor Commitment Letter Form, and a copy of their transcript that shows they hold a Master’s degree. These forms can be found on-line at . The planning form should be filled out (top section and signed and dated on the bottom) and either faxed, scanned and attached to an email, or regular mailed along with the transcript of the student’s Master's Degree to the senior secretary.

Course Work

Students need to contact the Registrar and be enabled in the OWLS system as a “non-degree seeking student” before they can start taking the courses listed on their program plan. Once registered, they can take certification courses on any campus and in any delivery system (on-line, fast track, or during the week). They should check the University Academic Calendar to see when they can register via OWLS.

How to Become a Non-Degree Seeking Student

Go on-line to the OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR website at There you will find the instructions for how to become a non-degree seeking student.

How to Register for Classes

The three foundational courses (Leadership 1, 2, and 3) are all available to be taken by non-degree seeking students without special permission – all the other courses require permission from ELRM. Therefore, at least three weeks prior to the next semester, the student should go onto the FAU course schedule and determine the courses s/he would like to enroll in. To request permission for these courses, please go to the ELRM Course Permission Website. After submitting the course permission form, your transcript will be audited. If you are cleared, you will receive an email notifying you that you are permitted to register.

Instructions for Using the Schedule

  1. Go to Under “CURRENT STUDENTS” click on “Course Schedule”.
  2. On the “Current and Historical Schedules” page (which opens in a new window), click on “Departmental Schedule.”
  3. On the “Departmental Course Schedule” page which now opens in a new window, select the term, Campus (you can select “All” if you want to see everything including on-line courses), “College” (select “Col of Education”) and the Department you want to view (Educational Leadership and Research Methodology). You are now taken to the “Departmental Course Schedule” page. Scroll down to see the course offerings listed in alpha-numeric order. You will find all of the courses offered by ELRM during the semester. Notice the column headings at the top of the page, as once you scroll down you won’t see them. From this schedule you will find the courses you are interested in taking.
  4. Important: specific information about the course, including the professor’s email and the dates that the course will meet, are found by clicking on the CRN number. Take note of the CRN number – you will use this for on-line registration.

On-line Registration

If you have noted the CRN number of the courses to take, it is simple to “Add” these courses through the FAU Self-Service (OWLS) system to your schedule. You can, of course, also go to the registrar and enroll in these courses in person. Courses fill up quickly, so make sure to get into all the courses you need as soon as possible.


Get familiar with the MyFAU system. You can find the links to them on the FAU home page, MyFAU is the program that all FAU students are supposed to use. Once accepted to FAU, you are automatically issued an email address and password. Note the following:

  1. FAU requires us to use your FAU-generated email for correspondence. Please go to and read about this policy. You can also find the link there and instructions about how to log on to MyFAU.
  2. You may not want use the FAU email as a primary account. What you can do, if that is the case, is go to your MyFAU account and have your emails forwarded to the account that you do use. Students and faculty need to be able to communicate with each other, and this is an easy way to do it. Plus, this gives you a free email account that you can use for years to come.
  3. Please note that if you desire to communicate with individual members of the class, you can do that through MyFAU. Click on the “My Courses” tab and you will be able to get a list of the members of the class and you can select who you want to email from there.


Once all coursework has been completed, the certificate-seeking students MUST immediately contact the Educational Leadership and Research Methodology Department ( and indicate that they have completed the program and are requesting that the notification of the certificate be placed on their transcript. The Department will audit the transcript against the program plan. If all courses have been completed and the FELE has been passed then the Department will request that the statement that the student has completed the approved program be placed on the official FAU transcript. All students will be required to present their FELE exam scores demonstrating that they have successfully passed all three sections in order to complete the program.

Obtaining the License

Once noted on the official transcript, candidates then apply to the State Department of Education in Tallahassee for their certificate. Some school districts office of certification will process the paperwork for its employees with the Florida State Department of Education. Tallahassee will not respond to certificate requests without the previous steps having been completed. Information and application can be found at:

Courses Required for Certification

The following lists the coursework that you must take in order to meet the requirements for the Level 1 Educational Leadership Certification Program. The Florida Educational Leadership Exam (FELE) must be taken and passed before graduation.

The Leadership Foundations must be completed prior to registration for any Experiential Learning courses.

Prefix No Title Credits
ADE 6381 Leadership 1: Adult Learning and Assessment 3
EDS 6100 Leadership 2: Theory and Assessment 3
EDA 6103 Leadership 3: Administrative Processes 3
Prefix No Title Credits
EDA 6207 Managing School Operations 3
EDF 6786 Educational Governance 3
EDS 6050 Instructional Leadership 1 3
EDS 6052 Instructional Leadership 2 (prerequisite: Instructional Leadership 1) 3
EDA 6232 Practical School Law (prerequisite: Educational Governance) 3
EDA 6300 Community Partnerships and Diversity 3
Prefix No Title Credits
EDA 6945 Fall Internship 2
EDA 6946 Spring Internship 2
EDA 6947 Summer Internship 2

Total Credit Hours: 33 to 36 hours*

ESOL Requirement -- Candidates who have not met their ESOL/ELL requirement of sixty (60) hours of ESOL district inservice points or three (3) credit hours in a survey type ESOL course must take the following course prior to program completion: TSL 4324 ESOL Strategies for Content Area Teachers

All candidates must provide evidence to the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology that this requirement has been satisfied.