Administrator Preparation in California

California has a two-tiered credentialing system for administrators. During the first-tier preliminary program, candidates prepare for a future administrative position with a focus on the skills needed by a school site administrator. Preliminary preparation includes successful completion of required coursework, fieldwork, and passage of the CalAPA, a performance demonstration of their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The clear induction program, the second tier of preparation is a two-year job-embedded individualized program, based upon the candidate’s employment position. This preparation involves extensive support for, and mentoring of, new administrators in their first and second year of service.

Commission Resources for Administrative Services Credential Programs

  • Administrative Services Credential Program Standards Handbook. Guidance for program sponsors in both designing and implementing an Administrative Services Credential program are captured in one location in this booklet.  Containing the programs’ preconditions, content expectations, performance expectations, the 2017 preliminary program standards, the 2014 clear induction standards and glossaries for both programs, the booklet also offers contextual information and graphic aids to help understand program requirements.
  • 2017 Content and Performance Expectations, are used in the preliminary tier of preparation, supporting future education administrators and beginning practitioners, define the content of courses and the performance levels expected of a beginning administrator. Both sets of expectations are aligned to the more complex California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (CPSEL) used to measure current administrators’ practice. The performance expectations are assessed through a combination of the California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA) and coursework/fieldwork assignments.
  • CPSEL Companion Booklet: California Professional Standards for Education Leaders 2014. The CPSEL are the deeper, more complex performance standards against which clear credential candidates are measured to indicate sufficient mastery of the clear induction program content. After completion of the clear program, many employers use the CPSEL for administrator performance evaluation.
  • Moving Standards into Everyday Work: Descriptions of Practice, Second Edition. Enhancing the usefulness of the California Professional Standards for Education Leaders (CPSEL), this booklet illustrates what individual elements within each of the six CPSEL look like across a continuum of practice, including developing credentialing criteria and assessments, planning leadership preparation, induction, professional learning or coaching, and clarifying performance expectations. Programs and districts across the state use this booklet in evaluating the performance of administrators and candidates.

Foundational Commission Resources for Teacher Induction Programs        

Additional Resources for ASC Programs

  • Passage of the California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA) is now a mandatory mandatory requirement of the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program. Focusing on school site leadership, candidates demonstrate their knowledge and skills of the California Administrators Performance Expectations (CAPE) in preparation to serve as a school leader. Assessment Materials for Year 2 are available to program faculty through a password-protected link on the Faculty Resources page of this site.
  • Partnership Letter to District and County Offices Candidate fieldwork locations are important factors in preparing candidates for mastery of program the CalAPA. CTC’s Executive Director Mary Sandy has authored a letter to aid schools, district, and county office personnel understand their role in preliminary preparation, through initial partnerships and ongoing relationships with initial preparation programs.  This letter is being provided here for programs to download and distribute to all district and county offices with whom their candidates work during their preliminary program enrollment as they continue to partner together for candidate success.
  • Support and Guidance for the Development and Submission of Clear Induction Programs proposals The CTC, in collaboration with the California Comprehensive Center @ WestEd and the California Department of Education, has created a website offering programs resources to help institutions develop clear induction programs. Organized by the six CPSEL categories, this website offers resources, implementation tips, training ideas, and development guidance.

Collaboration Opportunities for 2020

  • CalAPA Support Structures
    • Weekly Office Hours:Thursdays, from 11:00 to 11:30 or until all questions are addressed.  Call in with any questions, concerns or just to listen to others’ questions!
    • Virtual Think Tanks: 1:00 to 2:00 pm (webinar discussion co-facilitated by CTC, Evaluation Systems, and Design Team members)
      • August 30th: Understanding Equitable Leadership Through an Asset-based Frame
      • September 27th: Collecting Qualitative and Quantitative Data to Guide Equitable Decision-Making 
      • November 1st: Working with an Adult Community of Learners to Develop an Aligned Problem of Practice 
      • January 31st: Strategies for Working with Adults in a Community of Learners, Developing an Aligned Problem of Practice and Tracking Implementation Results
      • February 28th: Best Practices to Engage School Stakeholders
      • March 27th: Instructional Coaching Basics
      • April 24th:Understanding the CSTP and How to Use Them in Coaching
      • May 29th: Strategies for having Evidence-based "Courageous Conversations" for Coaching Cycles
    • Faculty Training Sessions 8:30 to 3:00
      • Session 4: March 10th, National University, Clairemont-Mesa Campus, San Diego
      • Session 5: April 8th, San Bernardino County Office of Education, WestEnd site, Rancho Cucamonga
    • CAPEA Spring Conference March 20, CSU East Bay
    • CalAPA Implementation Conference. June 4th at San Diego State University. This conference is a celebration the community of preliminary ASC programs and the best practices currently being used to equip future education administrators. Call for Proposals information for the 2020 Implementation Conference can be found here.  Deadline for proposals is February 21, 2020.
    • 2020 Induction Conference: Save the Date! December 7-9th in Anaheim, CA.


Updated February 26, 2020