How to Become an Education Administrator in Virginia

Learn how to become an Education Administrator or School Principal in Virginia.

Virginia’s schools need leaders capable of providing quality education and guidance to all students. A qualified school principal or school administrator can direct a school to an extra productive and effective curriculum, all while maintaining communication with parents and the school community.

But before assuming their leadership roles, potential school principals must prove they have the competencies and knowledge necessary to perform their duties by earning licensure in administration.

Academic Obligations

The Virginia Department of Education (DOE) requires all candidates for education administrator endorsement to earn Master’s degrees from accredited institutions and successfully complete authorized education administrator preparation programs.

Preparation programs in education administration and supervision help candidates understand the background knowledge and competencies they’ll need to become school principals or education administrators 1 day. These programs lead to master’s degrees and fulfill many of the endorsement obligations.


Administrator candidates seeking licensure as a school administrator must successfully complete the School Leadership Licensure Assessment. The SLLA determines if an entry-level education administrator is fully prepared to reflect the vision and goals through multiple-choice testing.

The DOE requires you to earn a score of at least 163 to be qualified for the administrative endorsement.

Classroom Teaching Experience Requirements

Virginia Licensure Regulations state that candidates seeking licensure as education administrators must have completed 3 years’ experience as educators. This ensures that school education administrators fully comprehend a school’s atmosphere and relate to the faculty they will 1 day lead.

During their administration preparation programs, candidates also successfully complete administrative practicums that take place in a variety of different kinds of schools. Administrator candidates must have completed a minimum of 320 hours focused on instructional Leadership.

Document and Application Requirements

After successful completion of an education administrator preparation program, candidates are ready to start the application process. If candidates add an administrative concentration to their current license, they may request this through the Virginia school where they are currently employed.

Individuals applying for their initial education administrator licenses generally follow the same procedures for initial educator licenses. Adding an endorsement to a license holds a $25 application fee.

The biggest difference is that education administrator candidates must fill out the endorsement section with their administrator endorsement info. This includes their education preparation program, as well as materials of administrative practicums and experience.

When you complete your application, you may send it, along with a $50 application fee.

Background Check Requirements

Virginia does not require fingerprinting of background checks for administrative applicants. Individual school districts may require candidates to undergo background checking before employment, however.

State Contacts

If you’re interested in learning additional info about the administrative endorsement process, you may contact the Department of Education at [email protected] or view additional info on their website.

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