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Education News

Oregon Administrator Licensure Redesign: What You Need to Know If You Want to Become a School Principal or District-Level Administrator in Oregon

By The Room 241 Team April 4, 2019
Gerald Gabbard, PhD
Gerald Gabbard, PhD

The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission recently approved a fully redesigned system of preparing and licensing school and district administrators in the state of Oregon at the Commission meeting on February 7, 2019, in Salem. To learn more about this new system, we checked in with our Chair of Administrator Licensure Programs, Gerald W. Gabbard, PhD. Here’s what you need to know:

1. What is happening under TSPC’s Administrator Licensure Redesign?

The redesign aims to better prepare administrators for work in school buildings and district-wide assignments, create flexibility for administrators based on their chosen career path, and reduce the number and types of licenses. Clinical experiences will be more embedded in future coursework. The system will create a two-tiered license structure in Oregon, mirroring what most other states offer.

Under the redesign, an Administrator License is required when the educator will:

  • Supervise licensed personnel (new*);
  • Evaluate licensed personnel;
  • Discipline licensed personnel;
  • Authorize assignment of TSPC-licensed personnel to teaching, administrator or other licensed positions (new*);
  • Authorize the out-of-school suspension or expulsion of PreK-12 students.

* These changes essentially codified what has typically been best practice all along in school districts.

2. What are the new titles of the two licenses?

This chart shows the current license titles and the new license titles:

Current Administrator License TitleTransitions to the Title
 Initial (old name) Principal (will go into immediate effect upon next renewal)
 Preliminary (current name as of 1/1/16) Principal
 Continuing (old name) Professional
 Professional (current name as of 1/1/16) Professional

3. What are the requirements for the Principal License and the Professional Administrator License?

Principal License Requirements

Experience Requirements:

  • Must have  three (3) years full-time or six (6) years part-time licensed school experience.
  • Licensed experience must include working directly with students on any license appropriate for the assignment.
  • May include teaching, school social worker, school counselor, school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, school nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and other school licensed experience.

Academic Requirements:

  • Hold a master’s degree; and
  • Complete a Commission-approved Principal License program, or out-of-state equivalent. Out-of-state transfers will still have to complete Oregon school and finance and take the Civil Rights test. Currently, the certificate program is 22 credits. In August 2022, this will increase to 27 credits.
    • All coursework in the 27-credit new program will be redesigned based on the new Oregon standards. See Principal License, OAR 584-236-0020 and Principal License: Program Standards, OAR 584-420-0060.
  • Complete a building-level practicum at two levels: elementary and secondary. Concordia’s program already has a compliant practicum of 360 hours.

 Professional Administrator License Requirements

Experience Requirement:

  • Have three (3) years of full-time or six (6) years of part-time licensed school administrator experience.

Academic Requirements:

  • Hold a master’s degree; and
  • Complete a Commission-approved Professional Administrator License program, out-of-state equivalent, or meet program waiver requirements.
  • Concordia offers a 19-credit certificate program with a 280-hour practicum. The credit totals and hours for the practicum will likely not change under the new rules. All coursework will be redesigned based on the new licensure standards. See Professional Administrator License, OAR 584-235-0030 and Professional Administrator License: Program Standards, OAR 584-420-0070.

The holder of a Professional Administrator License is eligible to perform the duties within the scope of the Principal (building-level) and Professional Administrator (district-wide) Licenses. The major change with the Professional Administrator License is that it will no longer be required as a second-tier license after obtaining a Preliminary license. This license will be optional and only required if a person wishes or needs to move into a district-level administrator position after at least three years of licensed building-level experience.

Students who are currently enrolled in the Professional License program are encouraged to finish by July 2022 so they can complete under the current licensure rules. While a Pro-AL license becomes necessary only if moving to a district-level position, it is still beneficial for building administrators to complete this program because (a) it strengthens knowledge and skills with current research, theory, and practice; (b) it makes administrators more marketable for future job opportunities; and (c) the program can transfer in and count as the core courses in the non-licensure administrative track of our EdD Program.

4. What is the timeline for these changes?

The new Administrator Licensure program rules and standards will go into effect in August 2022. Universities must submit a new program for approval to TSPC by August 2021.

5. What does this mean for educators who would like to become principals in Oregon in the future?

Under the redesign, in August 2022, those pursuing a Principal License will need to complete 27 semester credit hours and 360 hours of total clinical practice. If you are considering becoming a principal, it would benefit you financially and time-wise to complete the 22-credit Preliminary Administrator License program at Concordia University before August 2022, when the redesign will be fully implemented. It takes typically 18-24 months to complete the program, now. Please consider enrolling by January 2021 if you plan to finish under the current licensure standards.

6. Who can I contact if I have questions about the Administrator License redesign or Concordia’s Administrative Licensure programs? 

TSPC’s newsletter dated March 1, 2019, provides a general overview of the new Administrative Licensure system. Additional information can also be found on TSPC’s Administrator License Redesign webpage.

Questions about Concordia’s Administrative Licensure programs can be emailed to the Chair of Administrator Licensure Programs, Gerald Gabbard.

If you are interested in learning more about Concordia’s programs, please check out the Preliminary Administrator License page and the Professional Administrator License page, call our admissions office at 503-280-8501.

* TSPC has already changed the name of the Preliminary Administrator License to Principal License, even with the current standards. Concordia will officially change the name of the Preliminary Administrator License program to Principal License Program starting with the 2020-2021 academic year. The new standards, however, will not be implemented until August 2022.

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