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Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure

Advance your career in education with your principal’s license.

Educators Inspired to Lead

The Center for Educational Leadership at Cleveland State University created the Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure Program for aspiring educators who have already earned a master's degree. It is a fast-track, 100% online program that offers a convenient pathway to licensure and leadership positions for busy working professionals. This one-of-a-kind nationally accredited program provides relevant curriculum delivered by scholar practitioners in a cohort model that helps build leadership networks and ensure program completion. 

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Man sitting talking to two students
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Time to Complete

Begin in the Fall and complete in 4 semesters

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11 courses totaling 22 credits

Program Highlights

  • Nationally accredited program
  • Cohort model cultivates a strong professional network
  • Convenient online courses
  • More than 70% of program graduates are hired into new administrative and leadership jobs
  • Ohio license is widely accepted in many other states

Center for Educational Leadership logo

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Man smiling

Learning Methodology

Earn your principal licensure endorsement online at Cleveland State University. Learn in collaboration with your peers and graduate in just four semesters with a cohort track model that prepares you for success in an administrative role and earns you a nationally accredited principal’s license.

  • 11 courses; 22 credits
  • Study with a consistent group of peers with the same guaranteed schedule
  • Begin in the fall and complete the program in 4 semesters
  • 100% online format with synchronous online meetings on select Saturdays

Admissions Requirements

The Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure program begins each Fall semester. Applicants must:

  1. Have a Master’s Degree
  2. Have Two Years of Teaching Experience Under a Valid Teaching License or Pupil Services License
  3. Apply for admission to Cleveland State University
  4. Request official transcripts from all programs of study
  5. NO GRE, letters of reference, or statement of purpose are required for application


Required Courses

CEL 600Leadership for 21st Century Schools2 Credits
CEL 603Visionary Leadership2 Credits
CEL 606Making Global Connections through Technology2 Credits
CEL 609Leading School Reform2 Credits
CEL 612Data Driven Decision Making2 Credits
CEL 615Raising Student Achievement2 Credits
CEL 618Communicating Effectively2 Credits
CEL 621Education Policy and Practice2 Credits
CEL 624Leadership, Community and Engagement2 Credits
CEL 627School Operations and Personnel Management2 Credits
CEL 630Capstone2 Credits
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Woman sitting working on computer

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and financial aid for CSU programs are kept competitive so you can receive the education you deserve. Tuition for online programs and courses follows the same fee structure as traditional, on-campus programs and courses. Current CSU Graduate tuition costs can be found on the Bursar’s website.

Approximately 70% of CSU’s students receive some form of financial assistance. The University participates in or administers all the major federal and state grant and loan programs. In addition, CSU provides University grants and scholarships.

To begin the financial aid process, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must file a FAFSA every year after January 1st to receive your financial aid. Cleveland State University’s financial aid school code is 003032.

If you have any questions, visit the Financial Aid section of CSU’s website, or contact the Financial Aid office.



As an Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure candidate, you will learn from and interact with educational leaders working in the field who combine real-world experience with theoretical knowledge. Our dedicated and caring faculty provide you with the most up-to-date and relevant curriculum to make sure you’re prepared to take on the challenges you’ll face.

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CSU trees blooming

Student Success Coaching

At CSU, you will be paired with a Student Success Coach to support you on your journey from acceptance into a program to graduation. Coaches help with:

  • Time management
  • Study strategies
  • Focus techniques
  • Work-life balance
  • Academic support resources
  • Navigating University policies and procedures
  • Resolving issues and locating the right resources

Student Success Coaches will reach out to you for a welcome call early in your program. Coaches can help you create an academic success plan with strategies and goals that will help you be successful. Student Success Coaches are available to you throughout your program. Student Success Coaches do not replace academic advisors or other counselors, but rather work as a team with them to provide you with all the right resources.

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Girl looking at her computer
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Career Outcomes

Expand your impact through leadership positions in education. Upon completing the Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure Program from Cleveland State University, you’ll be prepared for a variety of leadership roles, including:

  • Administrator
  • Principal
  • School District Leadership
  • Policy Making, Research or Consulting
Inspired Leaders Student Testimonial Photo

"I absolutely loved my program. I had great instructors that challenged me to think about my thinking; rich content was provided and was relevant, and the cohort model allowed me to network and grow professionally with educators from around northeast Ohio. As a fulltime working mom, I needed the flexibility to research and complete assignments during times that worked with my crazy schedule (when the kids went to bed). And building a network allowed me to work with other like-minded individuals to engage and collaborate over our course work (a few I’m still in contact with today)." 


Bailey Morres, Westlake School District Principal
Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure Program (2018 completion)

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a principal’s license?

When you graduate with your endorsement for the principal’s license from Cleveland State University, you can become a principal in Ohio, or transfer to another state (some restrictions apply, students should verify all requirements in the state they are considering). You are also prepared for other leadership roles in education administration.

What is the average principal salary?

The average salary for a K-12 principal, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics is $98,420. Depending on your experience and where you live, your salary could be more or less.

Is the principal licensure worth it?

Yes! Whether or not you go on to become a principal, you’ll have the training you need to make a significant contribution in the field of education.

Connect with us to learn more

Fill out the form to connect with a Cleveland State University admission counselor who can provide additional information about your program of interest, the admission process, financial aid, and more.