The online Master of Science in Educational Administration program at Texas A&M International University is designed to help professionals develop leadership abilities that support teacher and student success. It prepares educators to meet the rising demand for school administrators who can foster growth within diverse organizations and adapt to the challenges of 21st-century education. With those goals in mind, TAMIU has more closely aligned its program with the Texas Principal Licensure Requirements, so graduates of the program can feel confident they're better prepared to lead learning communities as school principals.
New Standards for an Evolving Educational System
In 2016, the Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopted new principal standards to reflect the evolving role of school principals more accurately. The new standards recognize the crucial role principals play and reflect a greater focus on instructional leadership.
As part of implementing new standards, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has been in conversation with current school principals and principal preparation program faculty to ensure a new test framework and instruments can certify Texas principals.
Concurrently, Texas A&M International University's online Master of Science in Educational Administration program has advanced to meet the new principal certification and licensure criteria set by the Texas SBEC.
Changes to TExES and PASL
Texas requires candidates to meet several criteria to achieve principal certification and licensure, including:
- a master's degree from a university accredited by an agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) or U.S. Department of Education Database for Accredited Colleges and Universities
- a valid classroom teaching certificate
- two years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher
- completion of an approved principal educator preparation program
- a passing grade for the required exam (more on exams below)
As of September 1, 2019, new candidates need to pass the TExES Principal (268) exam and complete the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) to obtain a standard principal certification. TAMIU's online M.S. in Educational Administration program is 30 credit-hours and prepares candidates to pass these required Texas Education Agency principal exams, both the new Principal 268 and Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) Certification Assessment.
The TExES Principal (268) exam is a five-hour, computer-administered test consisting of 70 selected-response questions and four constructed-response questions.
The Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) assessment allows candidates to demonstrate their application of skills and knowledge necessary to become school leaders. It contains three tasks, requiring written commentary and submission of required documents called artifacts. Candidates complete tasks during their internships by entering and submitting written responses and uploading artifacts using an online submission system:
- Task 1: Problem Solving in the Field: Candidates must demonstrate their ability to respond to a significant challenge in their school related to instructional practice and student learning.
- Task 2: Supporting Continuous Professional Development: Candidates must demonstrate their ability to develop and facilitate ongoing professional development with staff to improve the quality of instruction and student learning.
- Task 3: Creating a Collaborative Culture: Candidates must demonstrate their ability to bring together a coalition of stakeholders unified around a common goal of improving instruction, achievement and school culture. Candidates must submit a 15-minute video as part of this task.
Experienced instructors guide Texas A&M International University's Educational Administration online program by focusing on organizational and instructional leadership. It assists candidates in developing the results-oriented, problem-solving skills that meet schools' needs and further student learning success.
The program also concludes with a practicum, allowing candidates to demonstrate and apply the skills they've learned during the program. In this practicum, candidates will complete the three tasks required by the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) necessary for principal licensure and certification.
Graduates of the M.S. in Educational Administration online program will have the skills, experience and leadership capabilities necessary to lead school communities through challenges and into improved student learning outcomes. After completing the curriculum attuned to Texas' new principal licensure requirements, graduates will be better prepared for the newly revised certification process.
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