Administrator Certification Program Residency Program Administrator in Special Education

Administrator Certification Program Residency Program Administrator in Special Education

The Program Administrator in Special Education Certification prepares you for the position of Program Administrator. The Program Administrator has staff responsibility for managing the technical aspects of the curriculum and instructional program. This staff position carries functional authority which is technical and advisory. The program administrator assists in clarifying directions and goals of specified educational activities. These functions are usually performed by persons in positions responsible for curriculum development and the supervision of instruction, and therefore, represent service more than administrative authority.


To receive a Program Administrator certificate:

  • The candidate shall hold an approved master's degree and have completed after the baccalaureate degree at least 24 quarter credit hours (or 16 semester credit hours) of graduate coursework in education.
  • The candidate shall have completed an approved program for the preparation of program administrators.


Course Requirements for the Program Administrator Special Education Certification:

Required Course Offerings
Credits Fall  Winter Spring Summer
EDAD 577 - Diversity Leadership 3 1      
EDAD 580 - Educational Administration 4   1    
EDAD 581 - Public School Finance 4     1  
EDAD 584 - School Supervision 4   1    
EDAD 589 - School Law 4   1    
EDAD 575 - Administration and Supervision of IDEA 3       1
EDAD 692 / 693 - Internship  12 1 1 1  
Total Credits:
(tentative schedule subject to change)

*The internship begins during Pre-Autumn (EDAD 692) and continues with the internship during the academic quarters (EDAD 693)


Professional Education Advisory Board

Standards for the certification of school administrators in the State of Washington, adopted by the State Board of Education, require that every program preparing educational professionals be developed by a Professional Education Advisory Board (PEAB). The PEAB is a collaborative partnership made up of representatives from school districts, specialized professional organizations, and colleges/universities. The CWU school administration PEAB advises the University regarding the development, implementation, and revision of the professional preparation program for school administrators, and includes representation from: the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA); the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP); the Washington Education Association (WEA); the Washington State School Director's Association (WSSDA); other specialized professional education organizations; and CWU. The Department of Advanced Programs at CWU has management responsibility.

Admittance Procedures

All candidates seeking administrator certification through CWU (i.e. Residency Principal or Residency Program Administrator in Special Education) ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPLETING THE FOLLOWING ADMITTANCE PROCEDURES:

(Please note:  completing these requirements does not guarantee admission to Central Washington University or the degree program)

STEP #1: Admittance to the University:

  • All students seeking admission to the ACP must be formally admitted as a MATRICULATED STUDENT to CWU. Students can satisfy University admission requirements by completing the online application (if applying to the masters program choose the Graduate path; if you already have a masters in an appropriate area of study and will be doing the certification program only choose the Transfer Student application and when asked about your previous education indicate that you are a Post-Baccalaureate student). A $50.00 application fee and official transcripts from all colleges other than CWU, with proof of degree must be submitted to:

Director of Admissions

Central Washington University

400 East University Way

Ellensburg, WA 98926-7463

Please apply for the term, in which you plan to begin course work.

It is the policy of CWU not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or the presence of any handicap in its education programs, activities, admissions or employment policies. 

If you have been admitted to and enrolled in a Master's degree program at CWU, you have satisfied the requirement for admission to the University.

NOTE: Each time a student completes a degree or certificate program from the University, they terminate their active enrollment status, and if they wish to seek additional degrees or certificates, they must reapply for formal admission. Active enrollment status is also terminated if courses are not taken the previous academic quarter. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your admission status, contact the CWU Office of Admissions immediately (509) 963-1211.

STEP #2: Admission to a Master's Degree Program:

  • All candidates not holding a master's degree in an appropriate area of study must be admitted to the CWU School of Graduate Studies and Research or to another approved Master's Degree Program. Inquiries regarding graduate studies at CWU should be directed to the Office of Graduate Studies, (509)963-3101.

STEP #3: Admittance to the Administrator Certification Program (ACP):

All candidates seeking administrator certification through CWU must apply for and be admitted to the Administrator Certification Program by the School Administrator PEAB. 

It is recommended that all potential candidates should meet and confer as soon as possible with the appropriate officials in their school district to determine district policies and to gain assurance of favorable support. When the necessary school district support has been obtained, and the candidate has decided to enter the field of school administration, but not before at least three years of successful, contracted classroom teaching experience has been completed, he/she may seek admission to one of the following Administrator Certification Programs: Residency Principal or Residency Program Administrator in Special Education. 
  • All candidates seeking admission to a CWU administrator certification program shall meet/provide the following:
  1. Application Materials (provide the following):
    1. TO APPLY: Submit a completed Application for Admission to the Admistrator Certification Program.
    2. A typewritten personal statement written in the form of a letter of application detailing his/her educational leadership objectives and experience. Recommended length is 2-pages.  The personal statement will be evaluated using the rubric attached to the application.
    3. All unofficial transcripts from colleges/universities confirming Bachelors and any advanced degrees (In addition to official transcripts sent to the Director of Admissions).
    4. A copy of a valid Washington State teaching/ESA certificate.
    5. Submit all application materials electronically to Dr. Don Wattam 
  2. PEAB approval for admission.
  3. GPA of 3.0 or higher cumulative for the last 45 graded quarter credit hours.
  4. Experience of at least three completed years of successful, contracted classroom teaching in a public or private school system.
  5. AFTER receiving notification, by letter, of formal admittance to the ACP by the School Administrator PEAB, IT IS THE CANDIDATE'S RESPONSIBILITY TO SEEK ALL THE NECESSARY INFORMATION RELATED TO THE PROGRAM IN THE HANDBOOK. 
  • NOTE: Candidates seeking certification as a Principal or Administrator must complete all course work and internship requirements within six (6) years.

STEP # 4 - Complete required coursework:

Once admitted into the Administrator Certification Program by the PEAB, the required course work must be completed (refer to the course schedule). 



STEP # 5 - Admittance to the Internship:

All candidates for certification as a Principal or Program Administrator must be admitted to and complete a year-long, field-based internship, in compliance with the relevant WAC. The internship is provided by and jointly supervised by CWU and the cooperating school district.

When an administrator candidate has fulfilled the following CWU requirements, he/she is eligible to make application for an administrator internship:

  • Formal admittance to CWU
  • Completion of or admittance to an approved Masters Degree program
  • Admittance to the CWU Administrator Certification Program by the PEAB
  • Has three (3) years of successful, contracted teaching experience in a public or private school system
  • Residency Principal Internship candidates must have completed the following course requirements prior to beginning the internship:
    • EDAD 580 – Educational Administration
    • EDAD 586 – The Principalship
    • Any two of the following: EDAD 581, EDAD 582, EDAD 583, EDAD 584, EDAD 589
  • Residency Program Administrator – Special Education Internship candidates must have completed the following course requirements prior to beginning the internship:
    • EDAD 580 – Educational Administration
    • Any two of the following: EDAD 581, EDAD 584, EDAD 575, EDAD 589
  • Submit the Administrator Internship Application
    • DEADLINE - To be eligible to begin and internship in August, the completed application must be submitted by March 1st.


Submit the completed application packet electronically to:

Dr. Don Wattam


Exceptions to admittance procedures may be made by the Director of the Administrator Certification Program subject to approval by the School Administrator PEAB.

NOTE: Simultaneous/dual administrator internships in two (2) or more certification areas 
(e.g., combining Principal and Program Administrator internships during the same school year) are not permitted.

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