1.  Who is eligible for consideration for the HCDE Principal Certification Academy program?

Candidates who have an advanced degree (master’s or higher) from an accredited university are eligible for consideration.

2.  When can I enroll in the program?

Applicants can enroll as soon as their advanced degree has been conferred or if they are in their last semester of completing their advanced degree.

3.  What is required to be considered for acceptance into the program?
  • Application for Admission Form
  • $100 Non-Refundable Application Processing Fee
  • Hold a valid Texas classroom teaching certificate (TAC Title 19, Part 7, Chapter 241 Rule §241.20)
  • Submit all service records verifying a minimum of two years of creditable teaching experience as a classroom teacher as defined in TAC Title 19, Chapter 153, Subchapter CC and TEC §5.001(2)
  • Official transcripts from institutions granting your bachelor’s and master’s or higher degrees (may submit unofficial advanced degree transcripts if degree is still in progress; official transcripts will be required for final certification clearance)
  • Two-page narrative of your professional goals
  • Resume that includes names, titles, addresses, email and phone numbers of three professional references
  • Site Supervisor (Mentor) Information and Commitment Form – name, titles, address, and phone numbers (principal)
  • Interview/In-basket activity - virtual format during COVID-19
  • $400 Non-Refundable Deposit Fee – due at time of admission
4.  What is the total program cost?

The total cost is $6,595. A special discount cost of $5,995 is available if you live in Harris County.

5.  What is the application fee?

It is a one-time, $100 processing fee.

6.  Is there a deposit?

Yes, there is a $400 non-refundable deposit fee at time of admission. It is part of the total program cost. 

7. When do the fees have to be paid?
  • $100 - due with application
  • $400 - due at time of admission
  • $6,095 - remaining balance will be divided into ten (10) payments ( remaining balance discount cost for individuals living in Harris County is $5,495)
  • Other payment plans can be arranged with director's approval
  • Credit card payments are also accepted (see item #8)
8. Can payments be made by credit card?

Yes, you may use our Online Secure Payment System located on our website to make payments on outstanding balances.

9. What is included in the total program cost?
  • The program and its administration
  • Assessment review
  • Practicum supervision and observations
  • PLEASE NOTE: AEL and T-TESS Appraiser Training fees are NOT included; you will be required to complete AEL and T-TESS Appraiser Training on your own to fulfill this benchmark before being cleared for certification.
10. Is financial aid available?

No, however you may pursue a bank loan or an external scholarship on your own accord.

11. When does the program begin?

Traditional entry point is September. The program also offers a rolling entry point option during the months of October through March.

12. What is the deadline for submitting required documents to be considered for admissions? (See no. 3 for required documents.)

Usually two weeks prior to start. Also, see no. 11. 

13. Where can I get information about the TExES exam?
14. When can I take the TExES exam and PASL?

After you are enrolled in the program, check with program staff. Your file and account must be in good standing and a readiness to test will be verified before test approval is granted.

15. Do I need an intern/probationary certificate?

No, unless you are offered a position that requires a principal certification while you are still in the process of completing the academy.

16. How do I get an intern/probationary certificate?

After you are enrolled in the program, talk with program staff. If you are eligible, you will be issued an official eligibility form that informs a district that you can be recommended for an intern/probationary certificate upon employment as an administrator.

17. What if I get a position as an administrator before I finish the program?

If you meet the qualifications, an intern/probationary certificate can be recommended; however, an intern/probationary certificate can only be recommended after you have a job offer.

18. Do I have to pass the state exam before I can be recommended for an intern or probationary certificate?

Yes. Please contact program staff for more details. 

19. Does the HCDE Principal Certification Academy program include AEL and T-TESS Appraiser Training?

No, however you will need to complete these trainings on your own in order to obtain a final clearance for certification from HCDE. Check with a regional education service center regarding these trainings. Frequently, your school district will send you to these trainings if you are employed as an administrator.

20. What benchmarks must be completed before I can get certification clearance for the standard Texas Principal certificate?
  • Successful completion of the Principal Certification Academy
  • Passing TExES Principal exam (#268)
  • Passing PASL (#368)
  • Completion of  AEL and T-TESS Appraiser Training and submission of  copies of each certificate
  • Successful completion of practicum activities and projects over two semesters (minimum of 160 hours total)
  • Successful completion of at least 200 hours of coursework
  • Successful completion and presentation of Action Research Project and Portfolio of learning experiences
  • Copy of Site Supervisor (Mentor) Information and Commitment Form on file
  • Completion of (3) practicum observations by field supervisor
  • Submission of  official transcripts showing advanced degree conferred (if completed after initial admission date)
  • Verification of valid Texas classroom teaching certificate
  • Submission of all service records verifying a minimum of two creditable years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher, as defined in Chapter 153, Subchapter CC, of T.A.C. Title 19, Part 7 (relating to Commissioner’s Rules on Creditable Years of Service) and the Texas Education Code §5.001(2) 
21. Do I have to live in the state of Texas to participate in the HCDE Principal Certification Academy?

Yes. Also, due to the field observations component, admission of candidates completing their practicum outside of the Houston metropolitan area must be approved by program staff.