State Profile

School Leader Certification and Preparation Programs

State Profile - West Virginia

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. West Virginia has adopted the Standards for Professional Practice for School Principals. W. Va. Code R. 126-165-5
Which state entity approves traditional school leader preparation programs? West Virginia Board of Education W. Va. Code R. 126-114-1
Does state policy require school leader preparation programs to align with adopted standards? Yes. Administrator preparation programs must align with the West Virginia Standards for School Leaders and Educational Technology Standards for Administrators.

Note: These standards differ from the Standards for Professional Practice for School Principals.
W. Va. Code R. 126-114-9
Does state policy require field experience as part of school leader preparation programs? Yes. Administrator preparation programs must prepare the candidate to integrate the professional pedagogy and the specialization knowledge and skills in an educational setting through clinical and/or field experience. However, no hour requirement was found. W. Va. Code R. 126-114-9
Does state policy allow for innovative or experimental preparation programs? Yes. An approved educator preparation program may seek approval for a pilot preparation program in an administrative area where there is no approved specialization leading to certification. W. Va. Code R. 126-114-18
Certification and Licensure
What are the initial school leader certification requirements? To qualify for an Initial Administrative Certificate endorsed as principal, a candidate must:
  • Hold a master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Complete state-approved educational leadership program and receive institutional recommendation
  • Have three years of management level or teaching experience
  • Complete the Evaluation Leadership Institute in evaluation skills or approved equivalent training
  • Receive a passing score on the Praxis II: Education Leadership assessment.
W. Va. Code R. 126-136-10
What are the requirements for school leaders licensed out-of-state? An out-of-state applicant who holds a valid, comparable certificate issued by another state must also verify completion of a state-approved education leadership program and complete the Evaluation Leadership Institute. However, an applicant may be issued a non-renewable Temporary Administrative Certificate while completing the Evaluation Leadership Institute. W. Va. Code R. 126-136-10
Is there an alternative route to initial certification? No state policy found. However, provisional and temporary administrative certificates may be issued to candidates who have not met specified requirements.

In addition, state policy allows for innovative and/or experimental preparation programs. 
W. Va. Code R. 126-136-10

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