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Principal PreK-12

  • Program Overview

    The online Gannon University Principal Certification program prepares educational leaders for certification in grades PreK-12.  This portion of the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) certification process includes 21 credits of coursework that can be completed in one academic year.  Students are also required to complete three years of classroom teaching and successfully pass the School Leaders Licensure Assessment Praxis before applying to PDE for principal certification. 


    The 21-credit program is made up of five online academic classes, course concurrent internships in the candidate's school district, and culminating portfolio and internship projects. PDE requires 360 hours of supervised internship, which are scheduled throughout the program.


    • Graduate learners can begin in the any semester.
    • All classes are online, and internships take place in the school district.
    • Courses are offered two per semester in 7-week sessions.  This unique format allows the graduate learner to focus on one class at a time.
    • Four of the five classes have concurrent internships, and the remaining 235-hour internship course is completed in the summer.
    • The program can be completed in one full-time year.

    You will experience

    What makes the Gannon Principal Certification Program different?

    • An online program that gives busy professionals the opportunity to complete their coursework with much more flexibility than a traditional face-to-face program
    • Tuition of $550/credit (with no additional fees) for the 2021-2022 academic year.
    • A 21-credit program
    • A cohort model with a group of educators that offers networking opportunities with other future education administrators
    • Adjunct faculty members who are also educational practitioners.  This provides a pragmatic link between theoretical applications and present-day instructional practices and regulations.  Gannon's adjunct faculty is comprised of superintendents and principals who present a realistic and firsthand view of theoretical models that are valid and applicable in today's classrooms.
    • Personal contact with Gannon University advisors throughout the internship process, meeting face-to-face and online on a regular basis.

    You will achieve

    The mission of the Gannon University Principal Preparation Program is to prepare principals as instructional leaders who effectively and ethically bring about continuous school improvements that result in increased student achievement.  

    Upon successful completion of this online principal preparation program, graduate learners will have completed the coursework required for certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 


    Exit Criteria


    • All required coursework as indicated on the program plan of study must be completed
    • All course grades must be B- or higher
    • Final GPA for the program must be 3.0 or higher

    Steps to Certification

    • Provides a chief school administrator's verification of the completion of three (3) years of relevant professional experience defined as "professional experience in an educational setting that is related to the instructional process."
    • Pass the required Praxis exam, School Leaders Licensure Assessment 
    • Apply for certification 
    • Gannon will then recommend candidates for certification, and PDE will make the decision to approve and issue certification.

    You Will Study

    Online Coursework

    Fall Semester Session I (September - October) 

    • GEDU 720, Quality Teaching, Continuous Improvement, Professional Accountability (3 credits)
    • GEDU 725, Principal Introductory Internship 35 hours (1 credit)

    Fall Semester Session II (October - December)

    • GEDU 722, School Financial Management (3 credits)
    • GEDU 726, Finance Developmental Internship 35 hours (1 credit)

    Spring Semester Session I (January - March)

    • GEDU 730, Diverse Learner Competencies for School Leaders (2 credits)
    • GEDU 731, Diverse Learner Developmental Internship 35 hours (1 credit)

    Spring Semester Session II (March - May) 

    • GEDU 721, Principal as Agent of School Reform (3 credits)

    Summer Semester (May - August) 

    • GEDU 723, Legal Aspects of Educational Administration (2 credits)
    • GEDU 727, Legal Aspects Internship 20 hours (1 credit)
    • GEDU 728, Principal Mastery Internship 235 hours (3 credits)
    • GEDU 732, The Principal Professional Portfolio (1 credit)

    Program Options

    • Principal PreK-12 Certification
  • Virtual Information Sessions

    We invite you to join us by video or phone for a virtual information session to learn more. Registration is required and a link will be sent via email before the session.

  • Certificate Costs and Career Options

    View Gainful Employment information for this program.

  • State Authorization

    View Gannon's State Authorization for more information on SARA and state authorization. Have a complaint about a distance education program or courses? Read the state contact information document to learn more about filing a complaint.

    Student Success

    Gannon's Online Engagement Coordinator facilitates our online new student orientations, implements strategies to ensure that online students are active in their online courses, and provides general online student support through a variety of high-touch methods to engage students and support student retention efforts. Gannon online students can reach out with general questions about online learning or how to remotely access Gannon's comprehensive student services.