State Profile

School Leader Certification and Preparation Programs

State Profile - Ohio

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. Ohio has adopted the Ohio Standards for Principals. Ohio Admin. Code 3301-24-09
Which state entity approves traditional school leader preparation programs? Ohio Department of Higher Education Ohio Admin. Code 3301-24-03
Does state policy require school leader preparation programs to align with adopted standards? Yes. Educator preparation programs preparing principal candidates must align with the Ohio Standards for Principals. Ohio Admin. Code 3333-1-05
Does state policy require field experience as part of school leader preparation programs? Yes. Educator preparation programs must include a minimum of 50 clock hours of field experience for each endorsement and each additional certification area beyond the candidate's initial certification. Ohio Admin. Code 3333-1-05
Does state policy allow for innovative or experimental preparation programs? No state policy found.
Certification and Licensure
What are the initial school leader certification requirements? To qualify for a Professional Principal License, a candidate must:
  • Hold a master's degree
  • Complete an approved program of preparation and receive institutional recommendation
  • Have two years of successful teaching under a Standard Teaching License at the applicable age/grade level for the endorsement sought or two years successful work experience in a school with a Pupil Services License
  • Receive a passing score on the Ohio Assessments for Educators: Educational Leadership.
Ohio Admin. Code 3301-24-05
What are the requirements for school leaders licensed out-of-state? Out-of-state applicants are held to the same requirements as in-state candidates. However, assessment requirements may be waived if an applicant submits evidence of passing comparable assessments in their issuing state. Source
Is there an alternative route to initial certification? There are two alternative routes to certification:

A one-year alternative principal license, valid for serving as principal or assistant principal, must be issued at the request of the superintendent, school district, educational service center or chartered non-public school to a candidate with specified qualifications. The employing school district must provide a mentoring program.

A candidate may also be eligible for a five-year Professional Principal License by completing the "New Leaders for Ohio Schools" program.
Ohio Admin. Code 3301-24-11

Ohio Admin. Code 3301-24-10

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