How to Become a Principal in Texas

Woman working to become a principal.

So you want to become a principal in Texas. That’s great! You’ve pursued leadership opportunities on your campus and talked with campus leaders you know about their experience. But with all the information and resources out there, it can feel overwhelming to know where to begin. 

Here’s some steps and requirements you need to meet in order to become a licensed principal in Texas. Check it out!

Meet Education Requirements

To be a principal, you must hold a master’s degree from a university that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the U.S. Department of Education Database for Accredited Colleges and Universities.

Note that there is no specific requirement in terms of area of study. If you have a Master’s Degree in Education, that will obviously be very valuable. But master’s degrees in other disciplines are also acceptable to meet this requirement.

Check Off Classroom Experience

Another requirement to become a principal in Texas is to hold a valid classroom teaching certificate. There are a list of steps to becoming a classroom teacher, including holding a bachelor’s degree and completing an educator preparation program such as Region 13’s ECP. You also must pass teacher certification exams, submit a state application, and get your fingerprints taken.

Once you have your teaching certificate, you must have at least two years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher. This is crucial, because you will gain valuable insight into instructional best practices and understand the challenges that teachers face.

Complete a Principal Preparation Program

Next, you must complete an approved principal educator preparation program. These programs are designed to equip aspiring principals with the hands-on experience they need to thrive as a campus leader. There are many options to meet this requirement. Some programs work in conjunction with a master’s degree program. Others, like Region 13’s Principal Certification Network, offer an alternative certification to participants who already hold a master’s degree.

In addition to hands-on experience and field supervision feedback, these programs prepare future campus leaders to pass two required assessments. These include the TExES 268 exam and the Performance Assessment for School Leaders.

Learn more about our approved principal preparation program, the Principal Certification Network, which has a 100% pass rate on the 268 and PASL state assessments.

Once you have completed the above requirements, you will be able to become a practicing principal in Texas! Being a principal is not an easy job, but it can be one of the most fulfilling professions.

Apply for our Principal Certification Network scholarship to take the next step in your career!

Sarah is the Coordinator of Administrator Quality here at ESC Region 13.

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