How To Become a Principal in Texas: An Overview for Educators
As an educator, you make a significant impact on the lives of the students you teach, helping them establish foundational knowledge and skills.
You can have an even greater effect on education as a principal. As the leader of a school, your work will affect students, teachers, administrators, and the overall community.
In this guide, you'll learn how to become a principal in Texas.
Why Become a Principal?
Before we jump into principal requirements in Texas, let's first look at what the role of a principal encompasses.
Being a principal is one of the highest leadership roles you can hold within the field of K-12 education, second only to becoming a superintendent.
A principal is responsible for the overall performance of the school, managing the operations, and supervising the teachers, students, and administrative staff. According to Teacher Certification Degrees, a principal's job functions typically include:
- Interpreting standardized test scores and planning how to improve them through the curricula.
- Analyzing the school's budget and determining how to allocate funds.
- Enforcing disciplinary rules to ensure a safe learning environment.
- Ensuring the school operates effectively.
- Serving as the public face of the school, communicating with parents, employees, the community, and local and state governments.
Serving as a principal offers you many benefits, including better pay and the opportunity to expand your impact. There are many pros and cons to becoming a principal that you should consider.
Once you've decided to take this career path, you'll need to know how to become a principal in Texas.
Principal Requirements in Texas
To earn a Principal certificate in Texas, you must meet the following five requirements:
- You have a master's degree from an accredited university.
- You hold a valid classroom teaching certificate.
- You have at least two years of creditable teaching experience in the classroom.
- You have completed an approved principal educator preparation program. View the approved Educator Preparation Programs.
- You have passed the Principal as Instructional Leader exam and the Performance Assessment for School Leaders. Learn more about the exams.
It's crucial 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.
Before you can become a principal in Texas, you must first earn teaching certification.
Obtaining a valid teaching certificate requires you to earn a bachelor's degree with an educator preparation program. Once you complete the program, you must pass the relevant certification exams, apply to the state for certification, and get fingerprinted for a national criminal background check.
"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 require you to complete an educator preparation program. Typically, master's programs have built-in preparation, like the Concordia University Texas Master of Education in Educational Administration with Texas Principal Certification.
View the Texas Education Agency's list of approved programs.
Principal Certification Exams
You also must pass the Principal as Instructional Leader (268) exam and complete the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (368). Before you take the tests, you must obtain approval from your educator preparation program.
Learn more about the principal certification exam.
Becoming a Principal With Concordia University Texas
Concordia's Master of Education in Educational Administration program enables you to become a principal in Texas. You can complete the program in just 20 months (five semesters), and you can choose between the hybrid (i.e., evening in-person courses mixed with online courses) or fully online program.
The MEd in Educational Administration prepares Concordia's students for campus-level leadership in public and private schools. Through the University's program, you will complete a 16-week practicum under the mentorship of a Texas-certified administrator at a local school or district administration office to gain experience in school administration.