How to Become a School Administrator in Oregon

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Changes are coming for school administration licensing requirements in Oregon. The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) – the same organization that oversees teacher licensing – is requiring universities in Oregon to align their curriculum to new standards.

One of the most important changes to the standards to note is that TSPC is requiring nine more credits to be earned in order to receive a Principal License for anyone finishing that program after the summer of 2022. If you’re thinking of starting your Principal License program, now is the time!

There are two levels of administrative licensure in Oregon: the Principal License and the Professional Administrator License (ProAL):

How to Earn a Principal License in Oregon

An individual with a Principal License is qualified to serve as a principal or another building-level school administrator. The license term is three years, but may be renewed continuously, unless hired into a district-wide administrator position.

  1. Earn teaching experience (three years full time or six years of 0.5 to 0.99 FTE on any teaching license appropriate for the assignment)
  2. Complete a Principal License preparation program

How to Earn a Professional Administrator License in Oregon

An individual with a Professional Administrator License in Oregon is qualified to serve as a superintendent or another district-level administrator. The license term is five years, but may be renewed continuously.

  1. Earn teaching experience (three years full time or six years of 0.5 to 0.99 FTE on any teaching license appropriate for the assignment)
  2. Complete a Principal License preparation program
  3. Earn school administrator experience (three years full time or six years of 0.5 to 0.99 FTE as an administrator)
  4. Complete a Professional Administrator preparation program

School Administrator Roles

What comes to mind when you hear the term “school administrator”? “Principal” perhaps? Have you considered the fact that several positions – including academic dean, superintendent and athletic director – are a possibility as you pursue a career in education? 

District and School Administrators

The Board of Education, responsible for most decisions in a district, lists two categories of administrators: district and school. District administration roles include superintendents and central office administration staff, responsible for a school’s assessments, finances, special education services, and other big-picture curriculums and programs.

School administration jobs, conversely, include vice principal, principal, academic dean, and athletic director and are more specific to leading within a school setting.

Administrative Jobs Defined

Here are some brief descriptions to further clarify job options:

The superintendent oversees the daily operations of the school district as a whole. He or she is responsible for providing recommendations to the school board, handling financials of the school district, and also lobbying on behalf of their specific district with the state government.

Assistant superintendents typically work in larger districts. They oversee specific parts of a school district’s daily operations and could oversee curriculum, transportation and special education. The assistant superintendent directly reports to the district superintendent.

Principals oversee the daily operations of an individual school within a district. The principal is primarily in charge of overseeing the students and faculty/staff, building community relationships within their area, and interviewing prospective candidates. They also recommend candidates to the superintendent for hiring a new teacher.

Assistant principals, like assistant superintendents, are typically employed in larger districts. They oversee a portion of their school’s activities, ranging from student discipline to recreation programs, and work directly with the principal.

Academic deans are responsible for approving faculty hiring, overseeing their program’s budget, fundraising, setting academic standards and policies, and other administrative functions, typically at the postsecondary level.

Athletic directors oversee all the athletic programs in the district. They are often in charge of athletic scheduling, the hiring process of new coaches, and the removal of a coach. The athletic director also oversees the budget and spending of the athletic department.