State Profile

School Leader Certification and Preparation Programs

State Profile - Delaware

April 2018


The data included in this 50-state comparison is specific to school leader preparation program and certification requirements. There may be additional requirements that are not indicated. For additional information, questions or comments, please contact Deven Scott at

Has the state adopted leadership standards? Yes. Delaware has adopted the Delaware Administrator Standards (identical to the 2015 PSEL standards). 14 Del. Admin. Code 1590
Which state entity approves traditional school leader preparation programs? Delaware Department of Education 14 Del. Admin. Code 290
Does state policy require school leader preparation programs to align with adopted standards? Yes. School principal certification programs must align with the Delaware Administrator Standards, the Delaware Professional Teaching Standards, the Delaware Professional Development Standards and the Delaware Performance Appraisal System (DPAS). 14 Del. Admin. Code 1595
Does state policy require field experience as part of school leader preparation programs? Yes. School principal certification programs must provide a minimum of 600 hours of residency, internship or clinical experience. State policy provides additional requirements. 14 Del. Admin. Code 1595
Does state policy allow for innovative or experimental preparation programs? Yes. The state department of education may approve innovative or experimental programs that do not meet CAEP standards. 14 Del. Admin. Code 290
Certification and Licensure
What are the initial school leader certification requirements? To qualify for a Standard Certificate as a School Principal, a candidate must:
  • Hold a valid Delaware Initial, Continuing or Advanced License
  • Hold a master's degree or higher from a regionally-accredited college or university in educational leadership offered by a CAEP recognized educator preparation program or a state-approved educator preparation program where the state approval body employed the appropriate national standards
  • Have at least five years of teaching experience.

Note: If a candidate does not meet the education requirement, he/she may hold a master's or doctoral degree from a regionally-accredited college of university in any field and successfully complete either a school principal course of study or a school principal certification program to satisfy this requirement.
14 Del. Admin. Code 1591
What are the requirements for school leaders licensed out-of-state? Out-of-state applicants holding a valid, comparable certificate issued by another state are held to the same education and work experience requirements as in-state candidates. 14 Del. Admin. Code 1505
Is there an alternative route to initial certification? State policy allows a candidate for certification the option to complete a school principal course of study. The school principal course of study has lessened graduate level credit hours and clinical hours, however must be completed under the mentorship of a currently employed effective or highly effective building-level administrator.

In addition, the secretary of education may, upon the written request of the superintendent of a local school district/charter school administrator, review credentials submitted on an individual basis and issue a Standard Certificate to a candidate who otherwise does not meet necessary requirements, but whose effectiveness is documented by the requesting local school district/charter school administrator.
14 Del. Admin. Code 1595

14 Del. Admin. Code 1505

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