Administrative Services Credential For Individuals Prepared in California

California has a two-tier credential structure. A five-year preliminary credential is the first credential issued after an individual meets basic credential requirements. A clear credential is issued when all credential requirements have been completed.

The Administrative Services Credential authorizes the holder to provide the following services in grades 12 and below, including preschool, and in classes organized primarily for adults:

  • Develop, coordinate, and assess instructional programs.
  • Evaluate certificated and classified personnel.
  • Provide students’ discipline, including but not limited to, suspension and expulsion.
  • Provide certificated and classified employees discipline, including but not limited to, suspension, dismissal, and reinstatement.
  • Supervise certificated and classified personnel.
  • Manage school site, district, or county level fiscal services.
  • Recruit, employ, and assign certificated and classified personnel.
  • Develop, coordinate, and supervise student support services, including but not limited to extracurricular activities, pupil personnel services, health services, library services, and technology support services.

An individual must hold an Administrative Services Credential to provide the following services in grades preschool, K-12 and adults:

  • Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of instructional services at the school site level.
  • Evaluate of certificated personnel employed at the school site level, with the exception of the site administrator.
  • Student and certificated personnel employee discipline services at the school site level.

Individuals Prepared Outside of California

Individuals prepared out-of-state or in a country outside the United States or U.S. territories should refer to Commission leaflet CL-574, entitled Administrative Services Credentials for Individuals Prepared Out-of-State

Requirements for the Five-Year Preliminary Credential

Individuals must satisfy all the following requirements:

  1. Possess a valid prerequisite credential (see Terms and Definitions).

  2. Complete one of the following:
    1. A Commission-approved program of specialized and professional preparation in administrative services resulting in the formal recommendation of the program sponsor or,
    2. A one-year Commission-approved administrative services intern program consisting of supervised in-service training resulting in the formal recommendation by the California college or university where the program was completed or,
    3. Achieve a passing score on the California Preliminary Administrative Credential Examination (CPACE), administered by Evaluation Systems, Pearson
      1. Passing examination scores must be used for credentialing purposes within ten years of the passing exam date [1].
      2. Individuals who pass the above examination may apply directly to the Commission for the credential.
      3. Include an original score report showing passage of the examination with the application.

  3. Satisfy the basic skills requirement. See Commission leaflet CL-667, entitled Basic Skills Requirement, for additional information.

  4. Complete five years of full-time experience (see Terms and Definitions).

  5. Verify employment in an administrative position on form CL-777.

Note [1]: The February 2015 administration of the CPACE was the final administration of the original exam. A revised version of the exam began to be administered July 8, 2015. Test scores from the original CPACE exam cannot be combined with scores from the revised CPACE to obtain the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. Test scores from the original CPACE exam will remain valid for five years for certification from the passing exam date. See Coded Correspondence 17-01. For more information on administration of the CPACE, see the CPACE website.

An individual who has completed requirements 1-4 above but does not have an offer of employment in an administrative position may apply for a Certificate of Eligibility, which verifies completion of all requirements for the preliminary credential and authorizes the holder to seek employment as an administrator. The Certificate of Eligibility has no expiration date. Once securing an offer of employment, the holder of a Certificate of Eligibility may apply for the preliminary credential by submitting an application (form 41-4), a Verification of Employment Form (CL-777), and current processing fee to the Commission office.

Term of the Preliminary Credential

The valid period of the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential is limited by the expiration date of the prerequisite credential. The preliminary credential may be renewed for any time remaining up to the five full years allowed at the same time of renewing the prerequisite credential by submitting an additional application (Form 41-4) and processing fee. However, if the prerequisite credential is valid for the full five year period from the issuance date of the preliminary administrative credential, the administrative credential will be valid for the full five year period upon issuance. For this reason, it may take one complete renewal cycle to align the dates of the prerequisite and administrative credentials. By the end of the five-year preliminary period, the holder must meet the requirements for the clear credential.

Requirements for the Clear Credential

Individuals must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Possess a valid Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (see Terms and Definitions).

  2. Verify a minimum of two years of successful experience in a full-time administrative position in a California public school, nonpublic school, or private school of equivalent status, while holding the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential.

  3. Complete a Commission-approved Administrative Services induction program and obtain the program sponsor’s recommendation for the credential. Enrollment in a clear administrative induction program is expected upon placement in an administrative position but must occur no later than one year from activation of the preliminary credential.

Term of the Clear Credential

The term of the clear credential may not exceed five calendar years and may be limited to expire with the prerequisite credential (see Terms and Definitions). The clear credential is renewable online.

Appeal for Extension

Individuals in need of additional time to complete program requirements may request a one-year extension by appeal. See Credential Leaflet AL-3 Extension by Appeal for Credentials and Permits for submission details.

Terms and Definitions

Experience (to Earn a Preliminary Credential)
Five years of successful, full-time experience in a public school, nonpublic school, or private school of equivalent status located in California or another state, or a combination of experience earned in California and another state. This experience may be teaching, pupil personnel work, librarianship, health services, clinical or rehabilitative services, or a combination of teaching and school services equal to five years. Substitute or parttime service does not apply. Verification of experience must be on the district or employing agency letterhead and signed by the superintendent, assistant superintendent, director of personnel, or director of human resources. School or district personnel other than the applicant must verify all experience.

California public school employers encountering difficultly in recruiting a suitable candidate with the required five years of experience may request a waiver of up to two years of the required experience for the issuance of a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. To qualify for the waiver, candidates must complete a Commission-approved Preliminary Administrative Services program, hold the appropriate clear or life prerequisite credential, and have been offered employment in an administrative position. The two-year experience waiver is not available to candidates who choose the examination route or for those applying for a Certificate of Eligibility. The six criteria required to waive up to two years of experience are found in Coded Correspondence 13-08.

Full-Time Service
Full-time service means service for a minimum of four hours per day for at least three-fourths of the total days in the school year. Substitute or part-time service does not apply.

Prerequisite Teaching Credential
For the Administrative Services Credential, effective July 1, 2013, a prerequisite credential is defined as:

  • A valid California clear or life teaching credential requiring a bachelor’s degree and a program of professional preparation, including student teaching; or
  • A valid California clear or life Designated Subjects Teaching Credential, provided the holder also possesses a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university or
  • A valid clear or life California Pupil Personnel Services Credential, Teacher Librarian Services Credential, Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential, Clinical or Rehabilitative Services Credential, or a School Nurse Services Credential, requiring a bachelor’s degree and a program of professional preparation, including field practice or the equivalent.

Holders of any of the other Health Services Credentials, such as the school physician, dentist, dental hygienist, optometrist, clinical psychologist, and psychiatric social worker, do not meet this requirement.

Administrative Services Clear Induction Program
The Commission approved new standards for candidate preparation for the second tier of California’s Administrative Services Credential in February 2014. The new standards require completion of a two-year induction program for candidates who hold preliminary Administrative Services Credential, a program of professional learning and development that is site-based and job embedded. Candidates issued their initial preliminary Administrative Services Credential effective July 1, 2015 or later must complete an Administrative Services Clear Induction program for the clear Administrative Services Credential. The last date to admit candidates into a clear standards or guidelines based program under the 2001 standards was June 30, 2015 and candidates must complete those programs by June 30, 2017.

Administrative Experience (to Earn a Clear Credential)
Two years of successful experience in a full-time administrative position in a California public school, nonpublic school, or private school of equivalent status, while holding the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. Verification of experience must be on the district or employing agency letterhead and signed by the superintendent, assistant superintendent, director of personnel, or director of human resources. School or district personnel other than the applicant must verify all experience.

Valid Preliminary Administrative Services Credential
For the purposes of the Administrative Services Credential, the term “valid” means that the holder met the requirements to have held the preliminary credential which afforded the individual the opportunity to gain the necessary experience and to complete academic requirements to earn the clear credential. It does not mean that the document must be active date-wise when applying for the clear credential.

For more information, visit the Professional Preparation Programs for Administrative Services Credentials.


Reference:
California Education Code 44270, 44270.5; Title 5, California Code of Regulations 80054.

CL-574c  April, 2017
Updated August 30, 2021