Graduate Catalog 2023-2024

Instructional Leadership, School Principal, MAE (0499)

Program Coordinator

Stacy R. Leggett,, (270) 745-2942

The Master of Arts in Education, Instructional Leadership, School Principal program requires 30 hours of coursework and leads to eligibility for initial principal certification (Level I, KP1).

Principal Certification, Option 6 (Alternate Route)

Kentucky Senate Bill #77 made it possible for higher education institutions with approved school administration certification programs to provide alternate route to certification programs upon application and approval by the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). Western Kentucky University (WKU) has an EPSB approved Alternate Route to Principal Certification program, with eligibility and application procedures as follows:

Under the provisions of Senate Bill #77 and state regulations, Western Kentucky University established procedures for the alternate route program as follows:

  1. Candidates must first apply to the WKU Graduate School for admission to the university -

  2. Following university admission, candidates should contact the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research for program-specific admissions guidelines and application by calling 270-745-2942.

  3. After program admission the candidate will work with an advisor to submit a program of study to the Office of Professional Educators Services for approval.

  4. A letter is then issued by WKU stating that the student is currently enrolled in the principal program; at this time the candidate may be offered a principal or assistant principal position by a district and is then eligible to participate in the Option 6 alternative route program.

  5.  If the candidate is offered the position, the district superintendent must provide verification of employment to WKU and the candidate.

  6. The candidate will submit the verification of employment to EALR and a CA-TP to the Office of Professional Educator Services. EALR will issue the student a mentor agreement that must be completed by the student, the student's university mentor and the student's district mentor. This can be emailed along with the completed CA-TP application to

  7. The Office of Professional Educator Services will sign and verify the enrollment of the candidate in the Alternate Route to Principal Certification program. The completed application will be uploaded to EPSB and the student will be notified when it has been processed and their certificate is ready to download/print.  

  8. The student must request that an electronic transcript be sent directly to EPSB.  The transcript request can be completed through TOPNET.  All transcript request questions need to be directed to the Registrar's Office.

Program Admission 

Admission to the Master of Arts in Education, Instructional Leadership, School Principal program is described below. 

  • A bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher 
  • Teaching certificate 

Upon initial review, applicants will be requested to submit the following items to the department: 

  • Three years of documented teaching experience in a public school or a nonpublic school that meets the state performance standards as established in KRS 156.160
  • Complete a program admission packet requiring: 
    • Letters of reference 
    • Department-specified essays or other written materials 
    • School district agreement of support 
  • Be recommended based on an interview with district practitioners and department faculty 

Program Requirements (30 hours)

Required Courses
EDAD 602Introduction to School Leadership3
EDAD 603School Law and Policy3
EDAD 604Creating a Culture of Achievement3
EDAD 605Leading a Community of Learners3
EDAD 606Leading Learning Systems3
EDAD 607Developing Teacher Capacity3
EDAD 608Resource Management for Equitable Outcomes3
EDAD 609Leading School Improvement3
EDAD 610Clinical Experiences in the Principalship6
Total Hours30

Filing a TC-1 requesting Rank II requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit.  Within these total hours the student must complete the required professional courses as outlined in a planned program designed to provide the student with appropriate administrative competencies and courses required for certification.