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.

  • Administrative Services Credential Program Standards Handbook. Guidance for program sponsors in both designing and implementing a preliminary or clear/induction 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.

Preliminary Administrative Services Credentials

  • 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.
  • Meredith Fellows Implementation Conference is an annual event where programs showcase best practices in their implementation of the CalAPA.  A compendium, offering synopses of the general sessions and the breakout sessions (presenters, content, research, materials shared, content information) of the September 2023 event  is available.
  • 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.
    • Sample Submissions for each of the CAlAPA cycles (Cycles 1, 2, and 3) can be found at CalAPA Faculty Policies and Resources in the Faculty Resources section.

    Clear/Induction Administrative Services Credentials

    • 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.
      • To better understand the requirements of each CalAPA Cycle, listen to the following recorded webinars where each cycle is presented step by step

      CalAPA Deep Dives

      Cycle 1Link
      Cycle 2Link
      Cycle 3Link

      Contacting Commission Approved Programs      

      Foundational Commission Resources for Clear Administrative Services Induction Program        

      Updated April 02, 2024