Professional Development

Principal Certification

Are you inspired to shape your education system? Are you driven to meet the challenges and opportunities of a continuously shifting educational landscape? If you are, then our Shippensburg University’s Principal Certificate program will empower you with the skills and tools needed today and tomorrow. Shippensburg University has partnered with Cumberland Valley School District, Harrisburg School District and the Capital Area Intermediate Unite to provide this valuable training to motivated educators.

Note: In order to register for this certificate program, you must “Apply” as a non-degree seeking student. This will allow us to add you to our records so you can be enrolled in classes and receive the certificate. The link to do so is above.

Course Details


The Principal Certificate is a Nationally Accredited program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. It is a post-master’s program ideal for individuals who have earned their M.Ed and want to expand their leadership skills


The Cohort will be held in the spring, aligning with school district’s calendar.

Participating School Districts are: Cumberland Valley, Harrisburg, and Capital Area IU


The training will be offered on site at the various school districts utilizing this training. Check with your school district for the exact training location.

Program Overview

There are seven Pennsylvania Inspired Leaders-approved courses, beginning with an online digital badging experience and including two job-embedded internships. The program is designed for students who are full-time educators. Courses are offered on weeknights and weekends to accommodate your schedule. There is a blend of face-to-face meetings and online work. All of the courses are taught by former administrators in the field of educational leadership. You will get to know your professors, who are able to mentor you toward potential career options.

You will gain a solid foundation in:

Course Overview

About The Courses:

ELP 519 – Advanced Leadership and the School Principal

  • Introduces future educational leaders to school level administration.
  • Focuses on the multi-faceted roles of a school leader. Students will study the principal through the lens of the principal as a learner, mentor, instructional leader, supervisor, manager, politician, advocate, and innovator.
  • Students will obtain a deeper understanding of the complexity of leadership at the building level, combining theory with practice.


ELP 518 – The Role of Supervision in Promoting Student Achievement

  • Designed to facilitate the formulation and implementation of a teacher evaluation and supervision system–based on data-driven and researched-based strategies and practical skills.
  • This course treats supervision and evaluation as two separate but complementary functions that should be integrated into a coherent system that provides differentiated opportunities for teacher growth and evidence-based quality assurance.
  • Many class meetings are work sessions that focus on learning and refining the skills necessary to evaluate the instructional act and to support the professional growth of teachers and will include individual and group activities in a supportive environment where participants actively engage in and reflect upon their conceptual understanding and skill development relative to evaluation and supervision.


ELP 516 – Curriculum Assessment and Instructional PK-12 for Diverse Student Populations

  • Focuses on curriculum development, implementation, and assessment (through instructional practice in U.S. public schools).
  • Students will study curriculum from the foundation of three bases:
    1. social forces,
    2. theories of human development
    3. the nature of learning and learning styles.
  • Students will be knowledgeable of the fundamentals of curriculum; the connection between curriculum, instruction, and assessment; current curricular issues; innovative approaches to curricula; planning curricular strategies; and analyzing current curricula.


ELP 520 – School Finance and Student Learning

  • Developed to provide aspiring and practicing elementary and secondary building administrators and supervisors with knowledge necessary to understand and manage department and building-level financial responsibilities by addressing resource management and fiscal issues that affect funding and programming at the building level.
  • Topics considered are: historical perspectives on school finance, current financial issues, trends, and the practical aspects of budget development.


ELP 521 – Legal and Ethical Issues that Impact on Student Learning

  • Focuses on the legal foundations for the establishment and operation of public schools in the United States and Pennsylvania in particular.
  • Assists students in understanding key issues that impact on student learning from both an historical and current perspective.
  • Students should be knowledgeable in all important aspects of school law from basic rights of individuals to the legal requirements for designing and maintaining appropriate school environments for learning.
  • In addition to a review of landmark cases and current issues, students will also study laws and topics specific to building level leadership in Pennsylvania.


ELP 514 – Practicum I Leadership Field Experiences at the Building Level

  • Provides an initial exploration and exposure to leadership roles at the building setting within the school environment and should be taken as part of candidate’s Tier 3 cluster of courses near the end of the program of study. Candidates begin to explore the role of the principal/supervisor as an agent of change and/or reform.
  • Candidates are expected to log 180 hours of practical field experiences to include, but not limited to, shadowing school leaders, observing other educators, assuming responsibility for basic leadership activities as assigned by mentor, and conducting a case study on leadership concepts.
  • In addition, candidate will participate in leadership seminars which focus on leadership foundations and best practices as articulated by current leaders in the field.


ELP 522 – Practicum II Advanced Leadership Field Experiences at the Building Level

  • Designed as a capstone experience, this practicum provides candidates with the opportunity to assess, develop, and refine knowledge, skills and dispositions acquired as a part of their programs of study.
  • Major focus is on instructional leadership, improving student learning, evidence based decision-making, and the role of the building leader as an agent of reform.
  • Requirements: 180 hours of practical field experience, an instructional leadership project, a second action research project, and attend three leadership seminars

Questions? Contact us!

Wendy Kubasko (717) 477-1765 |

Office of Workforce Development: (717) 477-1502 |


Professional Development

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