Program Standard 1: Questions and Answers

How is the clear ASC Program different from the candidate's completed preliminary ASC program?

In general, the new clear credential induction program provides a bridge between knowing the research, skills, and policies behind effective educational administration and leadership performance in an education community focused on continuous growth and student achievement. The new program standards are explicit in describing requirements for the induction experience, including individualized coaching, professional learning, a personalized growth plan, and assessment, while still allowing room for providers and candidates to shape unique programs that fit their contexts and resources. Candidates are expected to reach a program-identified level of competence before being recommended for the clear credential. 

Induction programs that lead to a clear credential now must include individualized coaching, professional learning opportunities, and assessment based upon the identified needs of each candidate. A candidate's program experience is developed and chronicled in an individual induction plan (IIP) that maps out a two-year growth program of a minimum of 60 clock hours and a maximum of 90 clock hours annually. As in the past, the clear credential induction period begins when the candidate has a valid preliminary credential and is employed in an administrative position that requires an administrative credential. However, now, the candidate must enroll in an induction program within 120 days of the start of their initial administrative position. And, the candidate must begin coaching within 30 days of the program start. 

Key Shifts 
A few key program changes are highlighted below. There are additional shifts in expectations and requirements for administrative services clear credential programs not included in this summary. The Commission provides the full set of requirements for program providers, candidates, employers and coaches and offers additional rationale, examples, comparison charts, and a glossary in their publication, Clear Administrator Services Credential Program Standards (June 2014). The full document should be consulted when making program plans and decisions.
Standards of Program Quality and Effectiveness for Administrative Services Credentials-Professional Clear Standards and Guidelines (2004) Administrative Services Credential Program Standards - Clear Induction (2014)
Program Pathway Options, e.g. standards-based or guidelines-based programs Induction, with coaching, is the only pathway
CA Professional Standards for Education Leaders (2001) CA Professional Standards for Education Leaders (2014)
At the time an administrator receives the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, a five-year "time clock" begins for the completion of the Clear Administrative Services Credential requirements while the five year "time clock" continues for credential completion, a candidate must enroll in a Clear Credential program within 120 days of start of employment and must begin coaching component within 30 days of program start
Mentoring may be part of the program Individualized coaching required (40-60 hours annually)
Organized around courses; may include non-university offerings Organized around job-embedded tasks with 20-30 clock hours of professional learning required each year (over and above coaching requirement)
Induction Plan is suggested Individual Induction Plan is a requirement for all programs
Program sponsor with candidate involved in assessing growth and competencies Program sponsor, induction coach and candidate are involved in assessing growth and competencies


The above description is excerpted and adapted from the Association of California School Administrators April 13, 2015 edition of EdCal

What theory and research informs the induction program design?

As part of the development process, the ASC panel reviewed various sources. Research, examples from states and districts, and California's Greatness by Design and ASC Program Standards highlighted the following key features of a quality administrator induction program. (See Key Features Citations for a list of documents used.)

What are Key Features of an Administrator Induction System?

Professional Standards: Administrator induction is aligned to clear and rigorous leadership standards. California's induction programs use the California Professional Standards for Education Leaders (CPSEL) as a uniform guide for what a candidate should know and be able to do.

Job-embedded Professional Learning: Administrator induction includes both formal and job-embedded learning opportunities using problem-based methods that connect theory and practice, encourage reflection and analysis, promote networking with colleagues, and are contextualized to the candidate's unique school, district, and community circumstances.

Time and Resources: Induction activities for the beginning administrator leverage resources, including personnel, time, and budget, to maximize each novice administrator's opportunity to engage in rigorous learning and practice, access qualified coaching and support, and complete the program.

Cohort/Network: New administrators practice pertinent skills alongside other novices who collaboratively engage in learning, provide support, and celebrate success.

Qualified Coaches/Mentors: A qualified, trained coach is thoughtfully assigned to each novice administrator and together they gather and examine data in order to set goals for leadership performance based on rigorous standards. They collaborate to develop candidate competence by using formative assessment, and evaluate both attainment of the identified goals and the beginning administrator's demonstration of leadership.

Professional Growth Plan: The administrator induction experience is informed by ongoing assessment and is cyclical in nature. Components include an initial assessment, goal setting, individualized coaching, professional learning opportunities, and formative and summative assessments of skills based on rigorous standards. These are all chronicled on a common document that serves as the blueprint for the full induction experience.

Partnerships: Required informal and formal agreements among PreK-12 organizations (e.g. district or county offices, colleges and universities, educational organizations, professional learning groups) outline each induction partner's responsibility to the new administrator and each other throughout all of the induction stages, including design, implementation, and evaluation.

Induction Program Evaluation: The new administrator's program of development is regularly assessed by looking at quality criteria, such as participant feedback, direct observation of services, growth of candidates based on clear and rigorous leadership standards, and compliance with program requirements. Participants are followed beyond the induction period to gather data on employment and performance in subsequent years.

Technical and Interpersonal Skills: Administrator induction provides research-based content and best practices that prepare novice administrators to lead improved instruction and school change, not just manage buildings. This content focuses on technical skills (e.g., instruction, organizational management, budgeting, and schedules) and interpersonal skills (e.g. collaboration, networking, self-reflection, and modeling cultural competency).

Candidate Competence: Leadership standards set rigorous expectations and are used to help determine whether each new administrator has reached expected competence levels. This decision is based on a review of observed and documented evidence, collaboratively assembled by the coach and candidate. This summative review includes a defensible process, a method for appeal, and a procedure for beginning administrators to repeat portions of their induction activities as needed.

A candidate is eligible for a clear credential when a Commission-approved preparation program and the experience requirement for the Administrative Services Credential have been completed.

(See examples of administrator induction programs described using these Key Features.)

What Standards of Quality and Effectiveness apply to ASC Programs?

The Commission has in place a multi-layered system of accreditation that requires programs to follow sets of common and program standards that are reviewed two times during the program's seven-year accreditation cycle. Key to this accreditation cycle is a program's narrative documents that explain how the program meets the requirements of the Common and Program standards. The underlying expectation of the accreditation process is that all accredited credential programs are implementing programs that are aligned to the Commission's adopted standards and are engaged in continuous, ongoing collection of data about candidate competence and program effectiveness, are analyzing the data, and are using the results to make programmatic improvements.

Common Standards
Common standards reflect aspects of program quality that are the same for all credential programs at a single institution, regardless of the type of program (e.g. teaching, services). The program sponsor must respond to each common standard by providing information and/or supporting documentation about the institution's capacity to support the programs it sponsors and the ways it organizes to accomplish this. The nine common standards describe and define: Educational Leadership, Unit and Program Assessment and Evaluation, Resources, Faculty and Instructional Personnel, Admission, Advice and Assistance, Field Experience and Clinical Practice, District-Employed Supervisors, and Assessment of Candidate Competence.

Program Standards
Program standards are unique to each type of program, describing aspects of program quality and effectiveness that apply to that particular educator preparation program. Program standards contain statements describing the nature and purpose of each standard and language that details the requirements that all approved programs must meet. Program sponsors must meet all applicable program standards before the Commission approves the program application. The nine Program Standards for the Clear Administrative Services Credential are organized around three categories of Program Design and Coordination, The Nature of Induction, and Performance Expectations for Leaders. (Note that the modules in this resource are organized by the CASC Program Standards.)

How should an Induction Program be evaluated?

An induction program should be evaluated using the CASC Program Standards as criteria for determining a quality program. Programs and external evaluators should ask for evidence that the following standards are being met.

Program Standard: ASC Clear Induction, from Program Handbook, June 2014

1. Program Design & Rationale p. 28California's Administrator Induction is an individualized, job-embedded, two-year program, with enrollment and initiation of coaching within 120 days of starting an initial administrative position. (p. 28)
2: Program Collaboration, Communication, and Coordination p. 28The induction program formally collaborates with education organizations through partnership agreements to establish a professional education community structure that facilitates and supports induction activities. (p. 28)
Each partner's contributions to the design and implementation of candidate preparation and certification are outlined through mutual contract/agreement. (p. 28)
Induction programs maintain communication on a regular basis with their partners to ensure that each candidate builds a coherent individualized learning program. (p. 28)
The induction program identifies the individual responsible for program coordination, key personnel involved in program implementation, and the reporting relationships between the identified personnel. (p. 28)
Program coordination includes admission, advisement, participant support and assessment, coach preparation, and program evaluation. (p. 28)
The program regularly assesses the quality of their professional learning offerings using criteria that includes participant feedback and direct observation of offerings. (p. 28)
The program leaders provide formative feedback to professional learning providers on their work. (p. 28)
3: Selection and Training of Coaches p. 28-29The program regularly assesses the quality of services provided by coaches to candidates, using criteria including participant feedback, direct observation of coaching, growth of candidate on established criteria, and compliance with program requirements. (pp. 28-29)
Induction program leaders provide formative feedback to coaches on their work. (pp. 28-29)
4: Professional Learning
  • 4A. The IIP p. 29

  • 4B. Coaching p. 29

  • 4C. Professional Development p. 30

  • 4D. Assessment p. 30
  • A. The program provides candidates and coaches opportunities to collaboratively develop professional performance goals as part of an annual Individual Induction Plan (IIP) that is grounded in the outcomes of Standard 5 and considers both employer priorities and individual job responsibilities.
    B. The coaching based induction program provides a minimum of forty hours of job-embedded coaching activities, including site visits, face-to-face meetings, and electronic conversation (e.g. telephone, computer applications) to support the development of leadership competences in response to the complexity of the candidate's administrative position, experience, background, and IIP goals.
    C. The program provides professional development offerings (a minimum of 20-30 clock hours annually) addressing needs common to all beginning educational administrators as well as provides differentiated learning opportunities as outlined in the candidates' IIP
    C. All professional development is designed to support the application and demonstration of program competency outcomes articulated in Standard 5 of the Administrative Services Credential Induction Program Standards, and the attainment of the candidate's IIP goals
    D. The induction program develops assessments to measure candidate competence and take into account the highly variable nature of administrative responsibilities
    D. Prior to recommending each candidate for a Clear Administrative Services Credential, the program determines that each candidate has reached a level of competence meriting possession of a Clear Administrative Services Credential
    5. California Professional Standards for Education Leaders p. 31California's Administrator Induction is an individualized, job-embedded, two-year program, with enrollment and initiation of coaching within 120 days of starting an initial administrative position. (p. 28)

    What is the program evaluation process?

    Formal program assessment begins in the fourth year of the accreditation cycle and may require 6-12 months to complete depending on the reviewers' need for more information from the institution. During an institution's Program Assessment year, each of its educator preparation programs submit documents demonstrating how the program meets the relevant program standards.

    In the sixth year of the accreditation cycle, a trained review team visits the institution's campus to review implementation. Data is triangulated amongst the results of program assessment completed in year four, evidence provided, and interviews with various stakeholder groups involved with the programs. Based upon the review team's findings, an Accreditation status for the next seven years is determined by the Committee on Accreditation (status may be changed in subsequent years after remediation of concerns).

    What might a two-year Clear Administrative Services Credential program look like?

    There are many ways to organize and design an administrator induction program. 
    Below is one sample timeline of activities for completing a CASC induction Program. 



    Updated April 25, 2022