Educational Leadership Certification

Program Coordinator:

Barbara Owens
Professional Development School Director
Assistant Professor of Education
328 Education Building
(304) 367-4886

Mission Statement

The mission of the Post-master's Educational Leadership Certification program is to prepare educational leaders that (a) optimize student achievement and wellbeing by creating safe, equitable and culturally responsive school environment and support systems; (b) support an intellectually rigorous academic curriculum; and (c) work collaboratively with staff, school community, political leaders, and the community at large to promote student success.

Program Overview

The purpose of the Post-master's Educational Leadership Certification program is to increase the supply of effective and well-prepared school leaders in public schools in West Virginia. These school leaders will be ready to serve as instructional leaders in the state’s diverse student population in meeting high standards for student achievement. This program also meets the needs of graduates who currently hold a Master’s Degree in the field of education. After completion of these courses, candidates will be eligible for West Virginia certification as PreK-12 Principals, Supervisors of Instruction, and Superintendent. This program is designed to give candidates the opportunity to practice all functions for effective school leadership. Fairmont State University believes this is a crucial step in preparing teacher leaders for administrative roles in our schools and counties. The certification for a principal licensure is 18-credit hours with an additional 6-credit hours to obtain a superintendent endorsement. The courses are designed and taught by principals and superintendents in the field which provides first hand experiences.

Courses are 8-weeks in length and are offered completely online. Program can be completed in 15 months.

Educational Leadership Curriculum (24 credit hours) - Online

     EDUC 5000: Principal as a Leader (3 credit hours)
     EDUC 5005: Organizational Leadership (3 credit hours)
     EDUC 5010: Ethics and School Law (3 credit hours)
     EDUC 5015: Community Relationships (3 credit hours)
     EDUC 5020: Transformational Leadership (3 credit hours)
     EDUC 5025: Current School Issues (3 credit hours)
     EDUC 5030: Superintendents Role Regarding Board, Community, and Curriculum (3 credit hours)
     EDUC 5035: Superintendent as a Leader/Manager (3 credit hours)
     *Most students intern at their employing school/district, individual placements are not guaranteed.

Admission Requirements

The Educational Leadership certification will follow the mandates as set forth in WV Code R. 126-136-10:

  • Submit admissions application to the Office of Admissions, or apply online now here.
  • Pay $50 application fee along with application.
  • Submit official college transcripts to the Office of Admissions (undergraduate & graduate)
  • Must hold a Master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Must hold a valid teaching license

Apply Today

Printable application forms can be found at Graduate Studies Application.

Application Deadlines

Rolling admission (apply any time!)

Tuition Cost: $418 per credit hour

For program fee information and payment deadlines, visit the Student Services website.

Career Opportunities

  • Assistant Principals (Grades PreK-12/Adult)

  • Principals (Grades PreK-12/Adult)

  • Assistant Superintendents (Grades PreK-12/Adult)

  • Superintendents (Grades PreK-12/Adult)

  • Central Office Administrators

  • Policymakers

Potential Employment Settings

  • PreK-12 public, private, or charter schools

  • Higher education institutions

  • State Department of Education


The ELI prepares principals and central office administrators to evaluate personnel effectively. Aspiring administrators complete a brief online EDI course to obtain their provisional administrative certification. Once adminisrators are hired they must complete in-person ELI training within 90 days of employment.