Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency


This program is designed for Iowa K-12 administrative certification. 

Some surrounding states have a reciprocal agreement on certification but we are not a “normal” graduate program, so please check with the state in which you may want certification. Also if you plan to gain Superintendent certification, you can submit your portfolio for each Standard and they may grant credit. This will be the choice of the college/university to which you apply.

During the course of the program (24 months), the following will be completed:

  • Write reflection on the following - schedule a meeting with your administrator, Superintendent/Chief Officer to review how or what process they used to plan for the school/AEA year.
  • Calendar – work daysCreate/administer a budget for buildings, departments, etc.
  • Select, create and follow up to their staff development plan.
  • CSIP information and district goals – what and how were they created?
  • What is the district’s/AEA’s evaluation philosophy/procedures for teachers and administrators?
  • Master contract – how is it viewed? Does the philosophy support or hinder what the district wants to do and why?
  • Since all administrators have to be trained in the Evaluator Approval, how is it used in your district/AEA?
  • Community involvement in your schools – how is it fostered and encouraged?

AEA & Special Education

  • Schedule a meeting with your AEA representative and review services they provide to the district. Ask them how that compares to surrounding districts.
  • Take part or sit in on two special education staffings and reflect on what happened. Follow up later with your administrator if you have questions.
  • Meet with a special education teacher in your district. Discuss and reflect on their thoughts about your district’s program, strengths and weaknesses.

For each standard, you will be asked to search for and find most current research on the problem. The research can be the same for all cohort members.

Candidates will complete Diverse Clinical Experience and checklist. This will include work in the current teaching position and another experience in a school district that has a population that is diverse from the current assignment.

Since this is a K-12 certification, you are asked to do an additional 5-10 articles per Standard, administrative practice, program, research, etc. with your reflections “outside your comfort zone” to broaden your understandings. Candidates are expected to also read additional books and provide reflections.

Evaluator Training (6 days) will be offered in the summer during the first 12 months of the program. 

Requirements of each Standard portfolio:

  • Your overall reflection of the Standard.
  • Your reflections on each of the presenters of that Standard.
  • Ten articles and your reflections – outside your comfort zone.

School-Action Research Requirements of Each Standard: (Sub-Cohort)

  1. School-Action Research
    • Current status of the learner
    • Current research of best practices for learners
    • Goal development of the learner
    • Current status of the learning environment
    • Current research of best practices for the learning environment
    • Goal development in the learning environment
  2. Construction of a building action – plan for using differentiated leadership to support school vision and missions
  3. Portfolio or log of all activities conducted in the action research study and school and staff development plans. (Individual)

Tool box activities - list and reflection/learnings (Individual)
In-Basket – please bring situations for discussion that you would like to analyze and discuss – staffing problems, student discipline, parent problems, policy infractions, etc. We will discuss real-time situations which a principal would confront.

Supportive Activities:

  1. Meeting dates and times (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.).
  2. Cohort Activities – Time is given during each Saturday class for lunch and planning (11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.) Cohorts can self-select to work on common problems but each must do their own reflections – on speakers and articles.
  3. Attendance – In the previous Cohorts, we had very few absences because of the high quality of presenters. If you are going to be gone you MUST let us know.
  4. Calling off class due to weather. We will plan a phone tree.
  5. Director Visits - On the first visit, we will meet with your supervisor to outline the expectations of the program. The remaining visits will be with the candidates to discuss specific issues they may have with the program. Further visits with the supervisor will be held as needed.
  6. At the beginning of each standard, payment is due ($1,100 per standard) for a total of $6,600.
  7. Up to two License Renewal credits are available at $35 per credit for each standard.  This MUST be paid when the Standard is started. A grade of proficient/not proficient will be given when all members of the Cohort have their portfolio completed and graded.
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