School Leader Certification

Excellent leadership is pivotal to a school’s success. Principal quality is the number one factor for developing and retaining high-caliber teachers and creating a positive, productive learning environment for students.

The School Leader Certification Initiative was developed to create a pathway to school leadership that authentically blends theoretical training with the on-the-ground technical and adaptive skillsets needed to effectively lead an amazing school. Candidates in the School Leader Certification Initiative’s Principal Training Program will learn to keep a laser-like focus on the quality of teaching and learning in their school while mastering the demands of management. They will become adept at balancing the universal with the contextual by always applying what they are learning in their current school settings.

Local and National Problems We’re Addressing

  • A growing national leader shortage is a worrisome situation for our country’s public schools.
  • There is a need to diversify the ranks of principals across the nation.
  • Traditional principal training programs are often expensive, time-intensive, and disconnected from the realities of leading schools in the 21st century.
  • Principals in high-need public schools have a distressing turnover rate.

A Message from the Director

Greg Ponikvar

Founding Executive Director of School Leader Certification

School leaders are essential to the success of any school. We need more amazing principals who are ready to build and implement visions that put students first, support high-performing teaching teams, and engage communities in the work of preparing all students to be successful in the 21st century.

Leadership Fellows: Principal Training Program

Our History

Summit, our parent organization, has operated the Leadership Fellows Program for ten years. Built on the belief that faculty should be empowered to be leaders, and that we have a responsibility to provide strong learning and growth experiences to team members, we began as a training ground and culminated in the administration of the California principal licensure exam (CPACE).

Leadership Fellows 2019-20

In the 2019-20, we will continue to build on this work, functioning as a training ground for future school leaders within Summit. Over time — and in pursuit of our goal to be a high-quality and affordable option for all candidates — Summit Learning Leadership Certification Initiative will open its doors to participants from any public school.

Our approach is designed to foster adaptive leadership that aligns with all California State Administrative Performance and Content Standards. The cohort-based program utilizes problem-based learning to develop skills; candidates will learn, practice, and receive feedback through real-world case studies, apply their learning in the context of their school environments, and delve into core leadership texts. By the end of their training, participants will be prepared to pass the CPACE exam to obtain a preliminary administrative credential.

Leadership Fellows 2020-21

The Principal Training Program is in the early phases of seeking accreditation through the CTC. We plan to apply for the ability to issue Preliminary Administrative Service Credentials and offer induction services to support novice principals as they work towards a Clear Administrative Service Credential. Though admission for this year is now closed, we’ll soon be opening our application for the 2020-21 school year.