The School Principal licensure only (WI code 51) program is designed to meet the needs of administrators who want to continue developing their professional competence in leadership roles under the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Teacher Education Program Approval and Licenses (Chapter PI 34).

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The Principal Licensure-Only Program

At Marian, we aim to develop leaders who make a positive impact in the field of education. Our educational leadership program is designed to motivate and meet the needs of individuals who want to develop or continue professional competence in leadership roles in PK–12 schools. The program is filled with rigor and taught by highly educated faculty members, providing you opportunities for enrichment and growth in a collegial environment. As a student in the program, you’ll develop critical thinking skills and an attitude of self-reflection. You’ll also define the valuing process, its foundations and its applications in today’s dynamic educational systems. The curriculum is specifically oriented to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Teacher Education Program Approval and Licenses: Chapter PI 34, and leads to licensure as a school principal (Wisconsin code 51).


For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.


Core Courses, 18 credits:

(Attendance in this non-credit online course is required for all new MAE in Educational Leadership and licensure-only students.  Students need to complete EDL 600 during their first semester of courses in their program of study.)  Provides vital academic information and introduction to basic technology skills necessary for success in Educational Leadership programs. (Receives CR/NC grade.)

Assists students in the development of an administrative licensure portfolio to demonstrate proficiency of the required competencies for licensure by the State of Wisconsin (PI34.03).

This course provides an introduction to leadership research and theory as it is distinguished from management and administration theory. An overview of the educational enterprise, this course also introduces concepts and issues related to the mission, organization, management, and leadership of the school.

While Special Education law at the State and Federal levels provides guarantees of appropriate academic and developmental programming for those qualifying, there are numerous students in every school in the nation, who have unique needs which have no such educational assurances. The course will draw on relevant research, contemporary models of practice that will help prepare those aspiring to school leadership positions to better understand and address the challenge of designing and effectively implementing a range of Special School Programs and Student Support Services which will be more effectively responsive to success for greater numbers of the children who come to today’s schools.

This course involves the study and application of varous means of communication, strategies for effective school community relations and a discipline (i.e. a system of organized, structured, systemic, orderly steps) through which the school, as a subsystem of society, “constantly strives to recreate itself to achieve extraordinary purpose.” Emphasis is given the importance of having in place a means for systemic change designed to take into account the diverse needs of the school as an institution and the unique publics which it serves. The course requires the active participation of the student. The end product is the development of a “Strategic Plan” which includes a comprehensive communication program.

The purpose of this course is to help educational leaders and administrators understand the financial and business aspects of the profession. Although the educational endeavor in the United States is, by and large, non-profit, education is, in fact big business. It is imperative that educational leaders understand the financial realm in which schools operate.

An orientation to the legal system will be presented with a focus on the impact and role of the courts and legislative law in the policy formulation and procedures of educational organizations. The influence of national, state, and local politics on education will be examined.

Examination of values development and ethical leadership theory. Emphasis is on identifying values and ethics in one’s own life and on the skills and practices necessary to be an ethical leader.

Principal license, 14 credits:

The purpose of this course is to study the role and responsibilities of the school principalship at the pre-K, elementary, middle, and secondary levels, with emphasis on the development of operational skills. Responses to contemporary and anticipated problems affecting the elementary, middle, and secondary schools are based upon tested theory, research, and applied practices. Operational tasks will be studied with a view toward enhancing management and leadership effectiveness.

This course focuses on the theoretical bases, current practices, issues, values, technological and leadership skills for the development and evaluation of curriculum and assessments. Students will explore the concepts and values underlying curriculum theory and various assessment designs. The valuing process will be explored in both its theoretical and practical aspects in curriculum. An emphasis on the implementation of curricular improvement efforts in an organizational setting and the appropriate use of educational technology applications provides the context for exploration of additional instructional and assessment issues.

The focus of this course provides those aspiring to leadership positions with a systematic introduction to supervision and personnel development. Emphasis will be on employee performance, evaluation, and professional growth. Theory, research, conceptual frameworks, historical perspective and practical application represent the core content. Attention will also be given current issues regarding supervision, evaluation, and personnel development. The basic goal of the course is to provide aspiring leaders with knowledge, understanding, experience and insight into the challenge of supervision and personnel development as a means for school improvement and student success.



The practicum is a substantive site-based experience that will require the application of theory in practice as a Director of Special Education and Pupil Services. The practicum student will have the support and guidance of a licensed director of special education and pupil services and a Marian College field supervisor, as the student develops personal and professional goals.


The practicum is a substantive site-based experience that will require the application of theory in practice as a principal. The practicum student will have the support and guidance of a licensed school principal and a Marian College field supervisor, as the student develops personal and professional goals.


The practicum is a substantive site-based experience that will require the application of theory in practice as a Director of Instruction. The practicum student will have the support and guidance of a licensed director of instruction and a Marian College field supervisor, as the student develops personal and professional goals.

(Practicum related to licensure sought)
EDL elective, 3 credits

International Society for Technology in Education
ISTE Standards for Administrators
ISTE-A Standards

Wisconsin Administrators License
WI Admin Standards

State of Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction
Licensure Program Content Guidelines

Educational Leadership Program Mission
The mission of the Educational Leadership program is to prepare candidates for leadership positions in public and private settings by providing candidates with opportunities to study and apply theories, standards, and practices in educational leadership.

Program Learning Outcomes
After completion of this program, candidates will:

  1. Facilitate the development of a shared vision of learning.
  2. Promote a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.
  3. Manage the learning organization, including operations and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
  4. Collaborate and mobilize resources to meet the needs of a diverse learning community.
  5. Act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.
  6. Analyze and influence the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
  7. Demonstrate content knowledge and processes in the field of educational leadership necessary to promote effective teaching and learning.

The Education Programs offered by the Marian University School of Education are approved by the:

wi-dept-public-instruction-logo         aacte-logo          caep-logo

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

When it comes to developing talented teachers and educational leaders throughout Wisconsin, Marian is among the best. Schools and school districts across the state look to Marian because they know what they’ll get in our graduates—teachers and leaders who are passionate about education and inspiring students to achieve their very best. The educational leadership program has been designed with the needs of working professionals in mind. We offer flexible scheduling options because we understand the importance of not sacrificing your current position and responsibilities. Our learning centers are conveniently located in Appleton, Fond du Lac, Wausau and West Allis. Classes run every 14 weeks in the fall, spring and summer and meet in the evenings and on select weekends.

Administration Licensure-Only

Students who already have a master’s degree and do not wish to receive another may seek initial licensure as a Principal.


To apply for admission to the licensure only program, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Master’s degree from an institution regionally or nationally accredited at the graduate level;
  • Three years of successful full-time classroom teaching experience;
  • A Wisconsin teaching license or a Wisconsin administrative license, or evidence of eligibility to hold such a license; and
  • Approved course sequence plan.


Candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of the required coursework or its equivalent with a minimum GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). Grades below C (2.00) are not counted toward meeting requirements;
  2. Successful completion of the online professional portfolio.

Candidates for the license may need to meet additional state and University requirements, as determined at the time of admission.

Dr. David Boers
1-800-262-7426 ext. 7179

Dr. Donna Innes, C.S.A.
1-800-262-7426 ext. 7633

Dr. Patrick Saunders
1-800-262-7426 ext. 8556

Dr. Bradd Stucky
1-800-262-7426 ext. 7636


Apply Now

Support Staff
Ms. Pamela Wendt, Support Specialist III
(920) 923-8095 or 1-800-262-7426 ext. 8095

Dean, School of Education
Dr. Kelly Chaney
1-800-262-7426 ext. 8100