In a 2010 interview in Principal magazine, Arne Duncan commented on the importance of school leaders: “Nothing is more important. There’s no such thing as a high-performing school without a great principal. It is impossible. You simply can’t overstate their importance in driving student achievement, in attracting and retaining great talent to the school.”

There has never been a greater need for high quality school leadership than there is today, in this age of high accountability and great challenges. Eastern University prepares future educational leaders by providing a strong foundation in theory of administration and opportunities for real world application of theory in real-life school situations through the internship opportunities in the program.

​​​​​​​Do I have the qualities to be a successful school leader?

The MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year award program annually recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students. The following selection criteria reflect the themes as outlined in the Breaking Ranks framework for middle level and high schools.

  • Personal Excellence
  • Collaborative Leadership
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Personalization

(Examples of each can be found on the MetLife/NASSP web site)

Does the program meet the PILs Standards for certification? What are these?

Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Eastern Principals’ Certification Program meets the PIL requirements. The Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) Program is a statewide, standards-based continuing professional education program for school and system leaders.

What are the Pennsylvania School Leadership Standards?

Core Standards:

  • The leader has the knowledge and skills to think and plan strategically, creating an organizational vision around personalized student success.
  • The leader has an understanding of standards-based systems theory and design and the ability to transfer that knowledge to the leader's job as the architect of standards-based reform in the school.
  • The leader has the ability to access and use appropriate data to inform decision-making at all levels of the system.
How does the Internship hour requirement work for the Principal’s Certificate?  

The internship requirement is a total of 360 documented hours in their certification area. Starting Fall 2023, internship hours will be accumulated through  four courses specific courses: EDU 587, Instructional Leadership and Supervision (3 credits, 60 hours);  EDUC 591, The Principalship (3 credits, 60 hours) EDU 598, Principal as al Leader of Organizational Change  (3 credits, 120 hours); and EDU 599 Leadership Models for Effective Education  (3 credits, 120 hours).

Where possible, Interns work with experienced leaders within their building/district. Hours should focus on the areas designated below. 

  • Creating a Vision for Student Success that Addresses Assessment as a Key component
  • Developing a Standards-Based System for Instructional Leadership 
  • Designing and Leading Data Driven Decision-Making Practices and Group Processes 
  • School Law 
  • School Finance 
  • Communication 
  • Political Management 
  • Organizational Management
How are these hours documented?

In each of the four courses with an internship component candidates submit a log of activities to their instructor.

What kinds of experiences count towards the 360 hours?

Generally, these hours are accumulated through attendance at administrative meetings (building, district, etc.), participation in administrative assignments and projects (scheduling, data analysis, reports, etc.); teacher observations (with an administrator). Evidence in the form of agendas, notes, etc. must be saved as part of the portfolio. Speak with the program administrator for suggestions.   

What is the general format of classes?

All of the courses in the principal certification program are delivered asynchronously through the university learning management system, Brightspace. Some of the courses use weekly due dates and some courses operate using a Flex model. Due to the lengthy internship component of 120 hours each, EDUC 598 and EDUC 599 run for 14 weeks, all other courses run seven weeks.