State Profile

School Leader Certification and Preparation Programs

State Profile - Michigan

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. Michigan has adopted the Michigan Standards for the Preparation of School Principals (identical to the 2011 ELCC standards). Source
Which state entity approves traditional school leader preparation programs? Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction Mich. Admin. Code R. 380.111
Does state policy require school leader preparation programs to align with adopted standards? Yes. School administrator preparation programs must align with the Michigan Standards for the Preparation of School Principals. Mich. Admin. Code R. 380.111

Does state policy require field experience as part of school leader preparation programs? Yes. School administrator preparation programs must provide significant and documented performance-based field experience for candidates within a school environment, as well as provide a six-month internship. State guidelines provide additional requirements. Mich. Admin. Code R. 380.111

Does state policy allow for innovative or experimental preparation programs? Yes. The superintendent of public instruction, at the request of an approved school administrator preparation program provider, may waive requirements for an experimental school administrator preparation program. Mich. Admin. Code R 380.112
Certification and Licensure
What are the initial school leader certification requirements? To qualify for a School Administrator Certificate with a P-12 Building Endorsement, a candidate must:
  • Hold a master's degree or higher from a regionally-accredited college or university
  • Complete a Michigan-approved school administrator preparation program at the master's degree level or higher, including at least 18 semester hours of graduate credit in P-12 school administration, and receive institutional recommendation
  • Receive a passing score on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment.
Mich. Admin. Code R 380.104
What are the requirements for school leaders licensed out-of-state? Out-of-state applicants holding a valid, comparable certificate issued by another state and who complete an out-of-state approved administrator preparation program may be issued a comparable Michigan certificate. Mich. Admin. Code R 380.106
Is there an alternative route to initial certification? An established state professional organization may seek approval to offer an alternative route school administrator preparation program that meets state board-approved P-12 building-level administrator standards. State policy provides additional requirements. Mich. Admin. Code R 380.105

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