Principal License



The Principal License program is designed to prepare competent and ethical leaders to meet the personnel needs of schools in Oregon. This can best be accomplished by partnering with public and private schools to identify and develop leaders who have an equal commitment to developing these skills with faith, vision, and love as their foundation.

George Fox University offers candidates the opportunity to earn as many as two licenses that prepare educators to serve in Oregon public schools as K-12 building or district-level administrators. The Principal License can be earned as a specialization in the master of education degree, as a stand-alone license past the master's degree, or as part of the doctor of education degree. 

Program Objectives

Educational Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Understand the developmental needs of students at all authorization levels
  • Be able to conduct and use research as a tool for improving a learning organization
  • Understand the goals of the Oregon Content Standards and how to use them as a guide in assessing each school's goals and evaluating progress
Professional Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Be prepared to lead teachers in helping students meet learning standards and in continuing their professional development
  • Understand current school practices and work within the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context to facilitate new ways of helping all students become productive citizens

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Principal License program must hold an approved master's degree such as a master of arts in teaching (MAT) degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. For applicants with an undergraduate college degree only, the applicant must complete a master's or higher degree including the approved Principal License program. In addition, applicants must complete the following to be considered for admission to the program:

  • Administrator License application and application fee
  • Verification of at least three years of successful licensed teaching or personnel experience in public schools or regionally accredited private schools on an appropriate level
  • Evidence of leadership potential based on assessments of skills in leadership, management, and human relations as supported by supervisors' recommendations
  • Completed Teachers Standards and Practices Character Questionnaire

Transfer Credit


Upon approval by the department, transfer of up to 3 hours credit is allowed toward the Principal License program. Students must have earned a grade of B or better for a course to be considered for transfer. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar's office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

Of the 18 hours required for the Principal License program, a minimum of 15 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. All work leading to the license program must be completed within seven years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the School of Education (SOE) Faculty. However, only one such extension may be considered due to special circumstances, such as ill health. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Course Requirements

The Principal License program is generally 1-3 years in length with 18 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation. Of those hours, 14 are core educational courses and 4 are practicum.

Other Program Requirements

The university and site mentors will meet to verify the candidate's demonstration and documentation of the following knowledge, skills, and competencies listed in OAR 584-420-0060:

  • Standard 1: Mission, Vision, and Core Values
  • Standard 2: Ethics, Professional Norms, and Sociopolitical Leadership
  • Standard 3: Equity and Cultural Leadership
  • Standard 4: Instructional Leadership
  • Standard 5: Community and External Leadership
  • Standard 6: Operations and Management
  • Standard 7: Human Resource Leadership
  • Standard 8: Clinical Practice

Graduation Requirements

In order to complete the Principal License students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 18 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all core courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a designated course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).
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Curriculum Plan

Complete the following:

Students participate in discussions and/or activities dealing with site-based management, decision making, mentoring, management of human resources, and issues dealing with professional leadership in education.
This course focuses on legal issues that arise in elementary, secondary, and collegiate institutions. The course provides educators with knowledge and analytic skills needed to apply legal frameworks to educational policy including the statutes regulating financial policy. The course investigates creative ways in which law can be used to help address current problems in schools, and helps educators think through questions of ethics and policy that legal disputes raise but do not resolve.
This course examines how belief structures undergird the methods educators use to motivate people to learn. Through the light of ethical theory, students examine how organizational leaders respond to the situations they face. Students also reflect on and apply their own values and ethical understanding to shed light on case studies that represent situations they often face as educational leaders.
This course is designed to help educational leaders understand key ideas central to ongoing research on teaching and learning to establish educational policy and transform educational practice at their institutions. The course emphasizes ways in which cultural, social, and organizational contexts influence learning. Students will learn to use the clinical supervision model and other tools for supervising and evaluating teacher performance based on best practices. The course will examine the leader's role in establishing and maintaining an environment that is conducive to student and adult learning.
This course is designed for those who want to understand how to manage the school budget successfully in a school. The day-to-day budget issues, including prioritizing, monitoring, and approving expenditures, will be discussed as well as the underlying framework of public budgets, Oregon State Chart of Accounts. This course provides practical knowledge and skills needed to read budget documents with understanding. Practices that encourage ethical care, goal oriented spending, and knowledgeable monitoring are explored and developed.
This course provides an opportunity for candidates for the Preliminary Administrator License to prepare and to present evidence that the practicum experience developed knowledge, skills, and dispositions reflected in the TSPC standards, the School of Education conceptual framework, and the dispositions.

Complete the following:

Practicum experiences are carried out at a building level of responsibility by working concurrently in two different authorization level sites. Principal License candidates will begin a practicum in elementary, middle level, and high schools under the direct supervision of a university supervisor and a licensed school administrator. Assignments will require candidates to learn about issues at the site, work with mentors to resolve the issues, and evaluate how they are being handled. These experiences will be supplemented by online administrative academic projects that focus on school governance and partnerships along with school management topics. The university supervisor and candidates will communicate via the Internet providing feedback to colleagues on various projects. Pass/No Pass
Practicum experiences continue at a building level of responsibility. Principal License candidates will complete a practicum in elementary, middle level, and high schools under the direct supervision of a university supervisor and a licensed school administrator. Practicum experiences are supplemented by online administrative academic projects that focus on curriculum and staff development, supervision and evaluation, and personnel hiring. The supervisors and candidates will communicate via the Internet. Pass/No Pass

The two semesters of practicum have three components: on-site experiences, online seminars, and a professional portfolio. Practicum experiences may begin at the completion of at least three of the following four core classes (ADMN 540, ADMN 542, ADMN 543, ADMN 544) or on the approval of the program director. Administrator license candidates will begin their professional portfolio at the start of ADMN 548 Principal License Practicum I. Candidates will add to the portfolio throughout their practicum, ending with ADMN 549 Principal License Practicum II and a public presentation in ADMN 547 Portfolio Capstone. Each candidate assembles a portfolio that documents satisfactory performance in the TSPC standards listed in OAR 584-420-0060(10).