Principalship Certification

Please contact Martha Wayne, Academic Advisor, at 573-592-4380 or if you have any questions.

This message explains the route available for students in William Woods University's Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) program that wish to earn Missouri certification as an Elementary Principal (K-8) or Secondary Principal (7-12).

Principal Certifications - Required Courses

There are three courses needed in addition to the Specialist - Administration program of study to meet course requirements for Missouri principalship certification. These courses are building-level (i.e., elementary or secondary) administration, building-level curriculum and a field experience. The administration and curriculum courses are available in on ground and online formats.

Those courses at William Woods are:

On ground Online
  • EDU535 - Elementary Administration
  • EDU536 - Secondary Administration
  • EDU545 - Elementary Curriculum
  • EDU546 - Secondary Curriculum
  • EDU598 - Elementary Field Experience
  • EDU599 - Secondary Field Experience
  • EDU551 - Supplemental Elementary Administration
  • EDU552 - Supplemental Secondary Administration
  • EDU553 - Supplemental Elementary Curriculum
  • EDU554 - Supplemental Secondary Curriculum
  • Students seeking elementary principal certification in addition to the specialist degree would take EDU535 or EDU551, EDU545 or EDU553, and EDU598.
  • Students seeking secondary principal certification in addition to the specialist degree would take EDU536 or EDU552, EDU546 or EDU554, and EDU599.

This group of courses is referred to as "principalship courses" elsewhere in this message. You would also need to pass the state's principalship examination and hold teaching certification at the initial level or higher for the university to recommend you to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for building-level certification.

Each of the principalship courses are three credits. The on-ground administration and curriculum courses are six weeks long and part of our Master of Education - Administration program of study. The online sections of these courses are eight weeks long. The administration and curriculum courses must be completed before beginning the field experience course, which is 10 weeks long.


Schedule of Course Sections

A list of upcoming sections of the principal administration and curriculum courses is available by request from Martha Wayne, Academic Advisor.  You may take these courses in either order. If you see sections that you wish to enroll in, please contact her so that the registration can be processed.

Stand-alone sections of the principal administration and curriculum courses meeting on Monday nights have been scheduled. Please contact Martha Wayne for that schedule. Enrollments of at least five students will be needed in a section for a course to be taught at that site.


Field Experience Requirements

The building-level field experience courses referred to in this section are:

  • EDU 598 - Elementary Field Experience
  • EDU 599 - Secondary Field Experience
  • EDU 591 - Special Education Director Field Experience

You are required to take the building-level field experience course after finishing the field experience course in your specialist program (EDU 697) and after finishing the building-level administration and curriculum courses.

The primary reason for this timing of the principalship field experience is that you will be meeting Missouri's other building-level certification requirements through the rest of the specialist program's courses, the administration course and the curriculum course. The field experience is designed to be the conclusion of that certification sequence. We encourage you to take the ISLLC exam after your field experience so that you will have addressed all of the competencies before you take the examination.

The offices of the Registrar and of the Dean of Education coordinate to schedule sections of the building-level field experience. Sections of these courses do not start in June or July because of the general lack of applicable building-level field experience opportunities during those months. These courses do not meet face-to-face. You will be contacted by one of the university's regional program coordinators, who will work with you during your field experience.

The university is incorporating recommendations made by DESE in late 2012 regarding administrative field experience hours. Specialist students or graduates who begin logging field experience hours at the building level (principal or special education director) before July 1, 2013 will need to complete 120 field experience hours to be recommended for their initial building-level certification.

Specialist students or graduates who begin logging field experience hours at the building level (principal or special education director) after July 1, 2013 will need to complete 300 field experience hours to be recommended for their initial building-level certification.


How to Enroll

If you wish to register for principalship or special education director courses, please contact Martha Wayne send me an email identifying the location and dates and she will process your request for the Registrar's office.


Logging hours for Building-level Field Experience

WWU students may log hours toward one field experience at a time.   You may log hours toward building-level certification after the final course in the specialist sequence, EDU 697, ends. Alternately, you may begin logging building-level hours before then using this procedure:

  • Enroll in the principalship certification courses described above. (If you have transfer credit for the building-level administration and curriculum courses at the level you are seeking certification, enroll for the field experience only.)
  • Complete the 300 hours of district-level field experience required in your Field Experience I (EDU 657) course and post the accompanying reflections in the TK20 assessment system.
  • Send me an e-mail stating that you have posted your reflections.
  • I will seek written verification from your EDU 657 instructor that you have satisfactorily met the requirements of that course.
  • I'll notify you when I receive this confirmation from your instructor and also send you forms to complete to set up your field experience.
  • When those forms are received and are in order, I will send you an e-mail identifying the date when you can start logging building-level field experience hours. In almost all instances, this will be the date of the e-mail.

Financial Aid Information

Under WWU's implementation of federal financial aid guidelines, you will need to complete at least nine credit hours (credits) every 18 weeks that courses are scheduled to be a full-time student for aid purposes.   Each 18-week block is called a "payment period" and there are two payment periods in each 36-week aid calendar year.   You will also need to complete 18 credits each aid calendar year for full-time aid eligibility.

Please note when you select dates for your principalship courses that courses that begin in one payment period and end in another are not eligible for aid.   Michelle Payne, our financial aid coordinator, can provide additional information concerning financial aid. She may be reached at or at 573-592-4215.


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Martha Wayne

Academic Advisor

William Woods University

(573) 592-4380