University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

Nov. 21, 2003

UW-RF Offering Principal Licensure Program

Educators seeking a K-12 principal license now have the ability to take credits toward their certification, while continuing to work, through a state partnership of the University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis, Minn. and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

The Education Approval Board authorized this collaboration in offering a Master of Arts in Educational Administration for educators seeking a K-12 principal license. The master's program, leading to principal licensure, is a two-year, 30-credit licensure program located at UW-RF.

Now in its fourth cohort, more than 20 educators have completed the certification program.

The program was designed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction a a way to help ease the severe shortage of principals in the region, correlating with the nationwide shortage, as well. Because the UW-RF offered neither the master's degree in education administration nor independently has the faculty to support it, the partnership of St. Thomas and UW-RF was created as an option for Wisconsin residents for certification as a K-12 principal.

Targeted mainly for students who have a master's degree, as the state of Wisconsin requires principals to have master's degrees, students with out their master's can also earn it through the University of St. Thomas with an additional 3-credit research course.

Individuals enrolled in the program work as a group and support one another for the two-year period. The program begins in the summer with the first of two intensive seminar and workshops. Most of the courses taken over the academic school semesters are held over a Friday evening and full day Saturday. Some courses are shortened in weeks by lengthening the class periods. The cohort and instructors decide where they will meet, negotiating a location central to all. Examples of some meeting sites are Menomonie, Baldwin, or New Richmond. Meetings are usually held in a school setting. The courses during the school year may be delivered in part through distance and asynchronous technology.

The two summer sessions consist of the leadership development seminars. The three-credit seminars are full days and last for three weeks. In addition, a one-credit, one-week laboratory is also required. These laboratories are very hands-on. They involve in-baskets, leaderless groups, simulations, and role-playing.

Students must meet seven Wisconsin Administrator standards and 21 national policy standards by building portfolios. Meeting these requirements though assignments, classes, or internships results in completion of the program.

Graduates will be equipped for leadership in public or private school settings. Emphasis is on areas such as: critical competencies of leadership, decision-making, oral and written communication, interpersonal skills, problem analysis, curriculum planning, judgement, human relations, dealing with the media, budgeting, supervision of personnel, and laws. Theoretical and practical experiences are based on a reflective practice model.

To apply for the program students must have three years of teaching in schools, or three years experience as a social worker, counselor, or psychologist.

A workload of eight credits is considered full-time for graduate students. Tuition for eight credits is $2,746. An additional $305 is charged per credit taken over eight credits.

For more information, contact Julie Persico in the Graduate School Office by email at or by phone at 715/-425-3843. For transcript evaluation, contact Professor Florence Monsour by email at or by phone at 715/-425-3182. Information is also available on the web at


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