Admin certification?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2018

    Can anyone recommend an admin certification program?

    Looking for:
    • something that can be done in a year or so
    • affordable (this is a big one)
    • manageable classwork load while still working full time
    Also - my state doesn't require a practicum for an admin license so I'd appreciate not having to do that. I was looking into one program last year (WGU or ACE?) and the admissions counselor was telling me that I'd basically have to be getting hours for my admin practicum in all of my extra time at school if I were teaching full time. This would mean giving up my prep, before, and after school to fulfill practicum hours. I'm sure it would be helpful but I really can't imagine doing all that while still giving my best to my students.

    Thank you!
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I’ve looked at the program through WGU and they DO require a practicum.

    In my state (CA), all you need to get your administrative license is a Bachelors degree, a valid teaching credential, 3-5 years teaching experience, a Masters degree in Educational Leadership/Education/etc. In my case, I have all of that already and only have the CPACE (the admin certification test) left.

    I’m wondering if I should just buy a prep book or pay for a service to pass the CPACE. I’m thinking I might trying self-studying and using free online services first, but I might do the former if I don’t feel comfortable with material.

    <grabs microphone and stands atop mountain>

    @Been There and @YoungTeacherGuy, assemble! Lol. Also, any other administrators, please feel free to contribute and offer your valuable thoughts.
     
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  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I just looked again and my state does require a practicum (no requirement for specific number of hours though). I'm pretty sure they just added this requirement as I've checked multiple times.
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I just finished my administrator credential program. My program required two practicums (one elementary, one high school) that were 110 hours each. The semester I did my elementary one was easier since it was in my building. The high school semester was a bit more difficult, but thankfully my projects took most of the time so I was able to do it at home. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I averaged 10 hours a week and was easily able to complete the hours.
     
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  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Thanks, that's good to know...

    When did you fit the time in?
     
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Did you find a job yet?! I’m so envious of you and congrats, by the way.

    Do you think you will work in your current district still or venture elsewhere?

    What are some tips for budding admin? What were the most important things you had to do in your practicum? (A list of bullet points would suffice for me.)
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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  9. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    In NJ you have to do a 150 hour internship for the Supervisor cert and 300 for a principal cert along with taking a Praxis. I did mine by coming in early every day, working through my prep as well as working after school and weekend events. Depending on the requirements some things you normally do like attend a meeting may count for hours.
     
  10. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I just completed a practicum I had to do for my library media specialist certification during summer school and there were a couple of admin interns completing hours as well. It's not ideal since it involves giving up a chunk of your summer, but maybe you could do something like that?
     
  11. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I wasn’t fully certified before the hiring season ended for this school year, so I am back in the classroom. I will apply anywhere within commuting distance for next year, though, so we’ll see what happens.

    My practicums included lots of things, but my major projects were:
    Hiring a guidance counselor at the high school (not by myself—was side by side with the principal)
    Lots of data analysis—did the data show teachers were teaching the standards, was the curriculum appropriate, etc.
    Implementing and monitoring before school tutoring
    Analyzing behavior data and finding ways to decrease problem behaviors
     
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  12. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    For my elementary, I gave up one prep and one lunch a week, the rest was after school. For high school, it was all after school except for the half personal day I took to attend a meeting during school hours.
     
  13. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Check into the practicum requirements for your program too. For my MLIS, I cannot do mine in the district I work in. It makes it really hard to get the hours in (100).
     
  14. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    I got mine online at Arkansas State. I thought it was a very good program. Took about a year and a half for me to complete.
     
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  15. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I'm not sure that's true any more. When did you do this? I got my supervisor cert from Rutgers totally online 2 summers ago without doing any internship. I know the principal one required an internship though. I did not do that one, but I had some friends that did.
     
  16. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    If you find a program you're really interested in, it's probably worth calling and talking to someone. To get library media specialist certification in NY, I was supposed to do 100 hours of fieldwork - 50 elementary and 50 secondary - and two 120-hour practicums again, one elementary and one secondary. My program also stated that you were supposed to do the hours in a district other than the one you worked in, but after talking to someone, I was able to get that waived. I was also able to waive the elementary practicum because I'd taught a certain number of years at that level. None of that was stated anywhere, however. I only found out because I called to ask how the various requirements could be worked around a full-time teaching job.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I got my admin credential through the local Cal State University. It was an intense program that lasted one year. I didn't need to complete internship hours; however, there were several fieldwork projects that I had to do.

    The admin credential program is similar to the teaching credential program: everything I know I learned on the job rather than in the program.
     
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  18. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    There's only one program in my state, so I'm just doing that one. I already know they won't budge though. Every teacher has complained about it, especially because it's supposed to also be done in one semester. You can apply for an extension to make it two semesters (and pretty much everyone does), but they give you such a hard time about extending it. It's so stupid because you have to already have a teaching license for the program, so they know most of us are working as teachers. My plan is to do spring break, snow days, and then the district I'll do it in goes about a week longer than we do plus their extended days. I'm hoping that'll get me close enough that the rest won't be too hard. You are allowed to attend the conference and do webinars for some of your hours too, so at least we can do that!
     
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  19. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    While some programs may appear to be "easier" than others based on the amount of work required, you might be better off looking at it from a different perspective. In today's competitive job market, the adage "No pain, no gain" takes on special meaning. Regardless of whether you have to complete practica (plural of practicum) for an internship or fieldwork, the practical experience gained would be invaluable assets to have on your resume.

    I've noticed that many of the best administrators are efficient time managers - as teachers, they're the ones that often had a month's or a year's worth of lessons set to go at a moment's notice. Most of them had to juggle teaching responsibilities while earning their admin. credential - it's par for the course. Remember, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." It's part of the natural vetting process.

    If at all possible, you may want to consider taking on some of the most difficult challenges present at your school or district - the experience may help you to beat the stiff competition that you'll inevitably face when you apply for administrative positions in the future.

    Here are some actual examples of what one administrator did to demonstrate his competence in a few areas that were required for the admin. credential many years ago:

    Competency: Provided organizational leadership

    Based on a suggestion from concerned parents:

    - Created an Environmental Education Program at a large inner-city middle school (included a speaker program that involved inviting environmental experts from 8 different organizations to give school-wide presentations - Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, National Park Service, PG&E, Audubon Society)
    - Raised sufficient funds to enable all interested students (200) to attend a 5-day residential program at the Yosemite Institute, Yosemite National Park

    Competencies: 1) Provided leadership for community involvement and 2) provide leadership to achieve district goals

    In response to a district announcement:

    - Facilitated a 16-member task force charged with creating the first Student Discipline Handbook for the sixth largest school district in California (interdisciplinary committee consisted of district administrators, teachers, police, attorneys, social workers, psychologists, community members)
    - Established various subcommittees to write the different sections of the handbook

    Competencies: 1) Provided leadership to improve school climate (staff morale), 2) provided leadership to resolve school-wide problems through staff collaboration

    In response to a serious decline in staff morale involving 50 teachers that resulted in a meeting with the superintendent:

    - Implemented a collaborative process to address long-standing issues related to: administrative incompetence, in-school communications, dilapidated facilities, student discipline, etc.
    - Conducted a School Climate Survey to collect input from students, parents and staff
    - Introduced a self-study process using Quality Circles model
    - Facilitated problem-solving subcommittees consisting of teachers and administrators
    - Conducted a staff retreat at an exclusive off-site venue that focused on team-building and developing an action plan for school improvement

    Another benefit of this winning strategy is that it will help minimize the number of admin. applications that you'll have to complete! How does just one sound to you?
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  20. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 19, 2018

    Thank you everyone.

    You have really helped reframe this all in my mind and I appreciate your input.

    I don't think I'd mind a practicum so much if I was working towards specific goals for projects, as a few of your have mentioned.
     
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  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Thank you!
     
  22. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Thank you!
     
  23. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    This is why I like the CA model, they allow you to either do the admin credential program or just pass the admin test (good for 10 years from the date you take the test) and then apply for your license provided that you find employment in a district as a VP/P.

    On the job training is vastly better than a credential program, IMO. Even you said that you learned everything on the job.
     
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  24. whizkid

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    Yep, I completed mine in 13 months.
     
  25. Been There

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    Just a few more things to think about.

    1) Any credential program is only as good as the people charged with teaching it (and the assigned reading). Many instructors have few accomplishments to their name even though they may have been school superintendents. Who you end up with is a toss up.

    2) Quality coursework can introduce students to models for effective leadership styles, personnel evaluation, program evaluation, staff development and program improvement. Courses should also include effective strategies for consensus-building, decision-making, problem-solving and supervision of instruction.

    3) Ideally, new administrators would be able to draw on their extensive knowledge base acquired through coursework to apply to different situations that arise on-the-job. Tip: develop a quick reference guide of useful techniques and strategies that can be easily accessed. (categories might include Consensus-Building, Decision-Making, etc.)

    4) On-the-job "training" would be more appropriately called attempting to lead by trial-and-error and IMO is far from ideal. However, the prevalence of low-quality credential programs often makes having to learn on-the-job (trial by fire) an unfortunate necessity. In this regard, many admin. and teaching credential programs are indeed quite similar.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018

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