State Profile

School Leader Certification and Preparation Programs

State Profile - Rhode Island

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. Rhode Island has adopted the Standards for Educational Leadership in Rhode Island (identical to the 2008 ISLLC standards). R.I. Code R. 21-2-49
Which state entity approves traditional school leader preparation programs? Rhode Island Department of Education Source
Does state policy require school leader preparation programs to align with adopted standards? Yes. Educator preparation programs must align with Rhode Island Standards for Educator Preparation which include the Rhode Island Standards for Educational Leaders, as applicable. Source
Does state policy require field experience as part of school leader preparation programs? Yes. Educator preparation programs must include clinical experiences. Candidates prepared for a Building Level Administrator P-12 Certificate are required to complete a 300 hour internship in educational leadership. State guidelines provide additional requirements. Source
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 a Building Level Administrator P-12 Certificate, a candidate must:
  • Hold a master's degree or higher from a regionally-accredited institution
  • Complete an approved certification program
  • Complete an internship consisting of a minimum of a 300 hours.
  • Have three years of P-12 professional education experience
  • Demonstrate the professional competencies of the Rhode Island Standards for Educational Leadership with an emphasis on the content required of a building level administrator and competencies prescribed by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration
  • Receive a passing score on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment.
R.I. Code R. 21-2-59:10
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. Source
Is there an alternative route to initial certification? An institution of higher education, a professional organization or a private service provider may seek approval to offer an alternative educator preparation program for candidates who serve as teachers of record while completing the approved program. Teachers of record, as defined, includes administrators.

In addition, candidates who have not been prepared in a state-approved preparation program may be eligible for licensure through a credential review.
R.I. Code R. 21-2-47


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