Please read the following overview before going to our specific requirements page.
If you don’t need the overview, click here for a listing of all the areas for School Leaders’ certification and their requirements.
SCHOOL LEADERS’ OVERVIEW
All candidates for certification as School Leaders, except as indicated in N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-12.7, must hold a Master's or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The following titles are available:
- 6A:9B-12.4 School Administrator
- 6A:9B-12.5 Principal
- 6A:9B-12.6 Supervisor (Standard only)
- 6A:9B-12.7 School Business Administrator
(a) The School Administrator titleis required for any position that involves services as a district-level administrative officer. Such positions include superintendent, assistant superintendent, and director. Holders of this title are authorized to provide educational leadership by directing the formulation of district-wide goals, plans, policies and budgets, by recommending their approval by the district board of education and by directing their district-wide implementation. Holders of this title are authorized to recommend all staff appointments and other personnel actions, such as terminations, suspensions and compensation, including the appointment of school business administrators, for approval by the district board of education. Holders of this title are authorized to direct district operations and programs, and to supervise and evaluate building administrators and central office staff, including school business administrators. They are also authorized to oversee the administration and supervision of school-level operations, staff and programs.
(b) The Principal title is required for any position that involves service as an administrative officer of a school or other comparable unit within a school or district. Such positions include assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, principal, assistant principal, vice-principal and director. Holders of this title are authorized to provide educational leadership by directing the formulation of goals, plans, policies, budgets and personnel actions of the school or other comparable unit and recommending them to the chief district administrator, and by directing their implementation in the school or other comparable unit. Holders of this title also are authorized to direct and supervise all school operations and programs, to evaluate school staff, including teaching staff, and to direct the activities of school-level supervisors.
(c) The Supervisor title is required for both supervisors of instruction and athletic directors who do not hold a standard principal's title. The supervisor is defined as any school officer who is charged with authority and responsibility for the continuing direction and guidance of the work of instructional personnel. This title also authorizes appointment as an assistant superintendent in charge of curriculum and/or instruction.
(d) The School Business Administrator title is required for the chief financial officer of a district. Such positions include assistant superintendent for business, school business administrator and assistant school business administrator. Holders of this title are authorized to perform duties at the district level in the areas of financial budget planning and administration, financial accounting and reporting, insurance/risk administration and purchasing. Holders of this title may also engage in facilities planning, construction and maintenance, personnel administration, administration of transportation and food services, and central data processing management.
New Jersey’s Three-Step Certification Process for School Administrators,
School Business Administrators, and Principals
(Click here for information on the Supervisor Certification Process)
Step 1Obtain CE
Find a job
(legalizing employment and induction)
Standard certificate (permanently certified)
STEP 1: Establishing Eligibility – Certificate of Eligibility
Certificate of Eligibility (CE): a credential with lifetime validity issued to persons who have completed a degree program of academic study and the applicable test requirements for certification. The CE permits the applicant to seek and accept employment in positions requiring certification.
STEP 2: Legalizing Employment and Induction – Provisional Certificate
Provisional Certificate: a two-year certificate issued to candidates who have met the requirements for initial employment (holder of a CE) and are employed and part of a state-approved residency/mentoring program leading to standard certification.
Please note: Candidates for a supervisor certificate do not have to go through the provisional certification process.
STEP 3: Becoming Permanently Certified – Standard Certification
Standard Certificate: a permanent certificate issued to persons who have met all certification requirement.
Additional Information: Certification Process For School Administrators, School Business Administrators And Principals
The following points provide additional information about the process to obtain standard School Administrator, School Business Administrator, or Principal certification.
Step 1: Establishing Eligibility – Certificate of Eligibility
- Degree requirements: Candidates for principal and school administrator certification must complete an advanced degree in one of the recognized fields of leadership or management, or in curriculum and instruction, including study area requirements. Candidates for the school business administrator certificate are required to have either a Master’s degree or a certified public accountant license.
- Test requirements: Candidates for principal and school administrator certification must pass a written examination. (Note new tests: School Leaders Licensure Assessment for principal; and School Superintendent Assessment for school administrator.) To register for these tests, contact Educational Testing Service (ETS) at www.ets.org or 609-771-7395. Note: Our test code number is R7666. Send score reports to NJ DOE Office of Certification and Induction.
There are NO TEST REQUIREMENTS for School Business Administrator certificates.
- Candidates must apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) on-line and pay the appropriate fees. (See new fee schedule)
Step 2: Legalizing Employment and Induction – Provisional Certificate
- A residency/mentoring program is required for school administrators, school business administrators, and principals. A two-year residency is required for principals. A one-year residency is required for school administrators and school business administrators. There is NO MENTORING REQUIREMENT for supervisors.
- When a candidate obtains a position requiring principal certification, the district registers on www.njl2l.org for the two-year residency. When a candidate obtains a position requiring school administrator or school business administrator certification, the school district must call (609) 984-6377 or (609) 292-6378 to register the candidate into the Administrator Training Program (1 year residency) and receive the necessary registration materials.
- The school district must send a Statement of Assurance of Position and Standard Residency Agreement to Coordinator, Administrative Training, Office of Certification and Induction, Box 500, Trenton, NJ 08625-0500 to initiate the residency period.
- When a mentor is assigned, a training program is developed by the district, the mentor, and candidate, subject to Department of Education approval. A provisional certificate, which expires after two years, is then issued to the candidate.
Step 3: Becoming Permanently Certified – Standard Certification
- Upon satisfactory completion of the residency/mentoring program (the candidate is evaluated formatively three to five times) and recommendation of the mentor, the State Board of Examiners will issue a standard certificate.
- The supervisor certificate requires four specific courses. There are no test requirements for supervisor certificates. Candidates for supervisor certification who meet the course requirements upon review of their credentials will be issued a standard certificate.
Still have questions? Visit our FAQ page.
Please print this page for your records.