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How To Become a Principal in Texas: An Overview for Educators

April 05, 2023
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As an educator, you make a significant difference in the lives of the students you teach, helping them establish the foundational knowledge and skills they’ll need to be successful. If you’re curious about opportunities to increase your impact, you might consider pursuing a role as school principal.

As the leader of a school, your work will affect students, teachers, administrators, and the community at large. But you’ll need to enhance your educational qualifications if you want to accomplish this goal. .

Keep reading as we outline the details of how – and why – to become a principal in Texas.

Why Become a Principal?

Before we jump into principal requirements in Texas, let's first examine what the role of a principal encompasses.

Becoming a school principal is one of the highest leadership milestones you can accomplish within the field of K-12 education, second only to becoming a superintendent.

A principal is responsible for the overall performance of their school, managing the operations, and supervising the teachers, students, and administrative staff. Typical principal job duties include:

  • Managing overall school operations
  • Developing, implementing, and maintaining curriculum standards
  • Analyzing the school's budget and determining how to allocate funds
  • Counseling and disciplining students to ensure a safe learning environment
  • Observing teachers and evaluating their performance
  • Assessing and preparing reports on standardized test scores and other student achievement data
  • Organizing professional development programs and workshops for staff
  • Serving as the public face of the school, communicating with parents, employees, the community, and local and state governments

While the work of a principal can be extensive, serving in this role offers many benefits, including competitive pay and the opportunity to make a widespread impact.

Requirements to become a principal in Texas

To earn a Principal certificate in Texas, you must meet the following five requirements:

  1. A master's degree from an accredited university.
  2. A valid classroom teaching certificate.
  3. At least two years of creditable teaching experience in the classroom.
  4. Completion of an approved principal educator preparation program. View the approved Educator Preparation Programs.
  5. A passing score on the Principal as Instructional Leader exam and the Performance Assessment for School Leaders. Learn more about the exams.

Master's Degree

In pursuing a post-graduate education in a field like Educational Administration, it’s critical to ensure that you earn a master’s degree from an institution recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Otherwise, you won't fulfill all the principal requirements in Texas.

Teaching Certificate

Before you can become a principal in Texas, you must first earn your teaching certification.

Obtaining a valid teaching certificate in Texas requires you to earn a bachelor's degree from an Educator Preparation Program. Once you’ve completed your undergraduate education, you must pass the relevant certification exams, apply to the state for certification, and get fingerprinted for a national criminal background check.

Teaching Experience

Having “creditable service” refers to the amount of time you have logged teaching in the classroom. Based on the year you began teaching, you can determine how many creditable years of teaching you have. The educational institution you serve has your service record on file, which will verify how many years of creditable service you have obtained.

With experience in the classroom, you'll have a better understanding of how the decisions you make as a principal impact educators and students.

Educator Preparation Program

In addition to earning a master's degree, the principal requirements in Texas include completing an Educator Preparation Program. Typically, master's programs have built-in preparation. This is the case with Concordia University Texas’s Master of Education in Educational Administration with Texas Principal Certification.

You can view the entire list of the Texas Education Agency's approved programs here.

Principal Certification Exams

Lastly, you must pass the Principal as Instructional Leader (268) exam and complete the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (368). To be eligible, you will need approval from your Educator Preparation Program.

Becoming a Principal With Concordia University Texas

The journey to becoming a principal can be extensive, but when you partner with the right higher education institution, the process can seem much simpler. The Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Administration program at Concordia Texas University prepares students for campus-level leadership in public and private schools in just 20 months (five semesters), with both hybrid and fully online program formats available – and enables graduates to meet the requirements to be a principal in Texas.

Through the University's dynamic educational administration program, you can benefit from expert mentorship as you gain crucial hands-on experience in school administration.

Learn more about how to become a principal in Texas with Concordia’s MEd in Educational Administration