How to Become an Education Administrator in Washington D.C.

Learn how to become an Education Administrator or School Principal in Washington D.C.

Our schools need effective leaders well-versed in the intricacies of providing quality education for students of all backgrounds. In Washington D.C., earning an Education Administrator Services Credential permits candidates to serve as school principals or assistant school principals in D.C. schools.

The Office of State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) offers several ways to become a school administrator in the District.

Academic Obligations

There are 2 options for earning an education administrator’s license in D.C.

The first option involves the successful completion of a bachelor’s degree program from an institution accredited institution of higher learning in addition to the successful completion of a state-authorized leadership and administration education program.

In their education programs, candidates learn communication and management skills, preparing them for their roles as leaders of their schools.

The second option requires candidates to complete master’s degree programs from accredited institutions successfully. There is no administrative education preparation required for this option.


To earn their administration certifications, candidates must successfully complete the School Leader Licensure Assessment (SLLA).

The SLLA measures a candidate’s competencies and knowledge in leadership areas such as vision, goals, management of organizational systems, ethics, integrity, and teaching and learning. Administrator candidates must receive a score of 163 or greater to pass licensure obligations.

Administrator candidates must pay a $50 registration fee in addition to a $325 fee for the SLLA test. More info on test dates and obligations may be found here.

Classroom Teaching Experience Requirements

Administrator candidates seeking administration licensure through both the first and second options must have previous teaching experience qualified for licensure.

School education administrators are required to have completed 2 years of full-time teaching at the PreK-12 level. This allows education administrators to gain a solid understanding of what educators require to educate their students effectively. During their tenures as educators, potential education administrators learn how deficiencies in educational items affect the classroom, and they are capable of relating to their faculty members.

Educators who successfully complete education administrator preparation programs gain valuable first-hand experience in practicum programs, giving them an idea of what is required to lead a school.

Document and Application Requirements

Administrator candidates for administrative licensure in D.C. must complete Form F-8.

Applicants must fill out background info, make contact with info, and educational info. Additionally, the following items must be included with the application packet:

  • Official transcripts sealed in a university or college envelope
  • Official SLLA assessment score verifying a passing grade
  • Copies of valid school administrator licenses, if applicable.
  • Official authentication of work experience
  • Official copy of arrest and criminal history record
  • If you’ve completed an authorized administration program outside of D.C., you must fill out an Out of State Approved Program Authentication Form
  • An application processing fee of $50 in a money order or cashier’s check payable to “DC Treasurer.”

Applicants may send their completed packets to the OSSE office at:

OSSE – Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
Educator Licensure and Accreditation
810 First Street, NE 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20002

Background Check Requirements

Applicants for licensure already employed in D.C. school districts must request fingerprinting and background check applications from the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Fingerprinting is free for current and recently hired employees.

Administrator candidates must go to the office in person to request forms. The office may be found at:

DCPS Office of Human Resources
1200 First Street
NE Washington, DC 20002

Applicants not employed by the DCPS must submit background check results from the FBI. Applicants may either submit the request to the FBI or submit the request to an authorized channeler.

State Contacts

For additional info on becoming a licensed education administrator in Washington D.C., contact the OSSE at [email protected]. Additionally, the office may make contact withed via phone at 202-741-5881.

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