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Educators interested in becoming principals can now achieve Wisconsin licensure as part of a new program offered by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services.

The UW Oshkosh Educational Administration / Principal Licensure (51) program, which started this fall, will help meet the school leadership needs of school districts throughout the region and state. The college has already seen a high level of interest from potential students.

“We were asked by many educators in the region to create a principal licensure program,” said Karen Gibson, assistant professor of Educational Leadership, who helped develop and implement the new program. “We built it from the ground up, looking at the needs of school districts and the knowledge and skills today’s principals need to be instructional mentors for teachers and better leaders in today’s educational environment.”

Fully approved by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction (DPI) and the University last spring, the program is the first new licensure program offered by the college in more than forty years and is the only one of its caliber in Northeast Wisconsin. It can be completed as a certificate program or in conjunction with a master’s of science in educational leadership.

For many districts there has been huge turnover at the administrative level, partly due to retirements, so there is a definite need to develop a new generation of educational leaders to serve at elementary, middle and secondary schools.

“Students who go through our program will be well prepared to promote the success of every student and guide other teaching professionals in the pursuit of excellence in education,” Gibson said.

The successful launch of the program speaks well to the college’s understanding the needs of districts for principals. It also speaks well of the strong relationships the college has with area districts, as their input and support was key in garnering quick DPI approval for the program.

Gibson said that one of the keys to the principal licensure program is its flexibility.

“We are able to deliver the program’s courses to students in many ways – on campus, as a cohort at a particular school or district,” Gibson said. “And in the near future, program coursework will also likely become available online.”

For more information on the Educational Administration (Principal Licensure 51) program, visit or contact Dr. Gibson at

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