Developed by Administrators for Administrators
A cohort-based program designed for the working professional


Program Description

The Principal Administrative License (PAL) Program at Southern Oregon University (previously called the Initial Administrator License program) is for practicing teachers with at least three years teaching experience who want to become licensed to be a principal. The program offers a unique curriculum composed of relevant courses identified by practicing school administrators in the Southern Oregon region. The PAL’s practical focus enables a more flexible and meaningful opportunity for students to integrate the theory and practice of educational administration not found in a linear, course-by-course approach typical of most administrator programs. Each quarter’s coursework revolves around themes identified by local practitioners, based on their working knowledge of educational leadership. PAL courses (40 credit hours) integrate theoretical foundations with applied opportunities for students to participate in the subject content. The required practicum hours (300) enable students to move from theoretical foundations into actual practice at a variety of school levels. The PAL program is composed of a cohort, admitted in the summer. The cohort of students move through the seven-term program (summer, fall, winter, spring, summer, fall, winter) together by enrolling in each of the courses and the accompanying practicum. Candidates must hold a master's degree in order to be granted the PAL. For those needing a master's degree, it can be completed through this program with an additional five credits.


  • The PAL is arranged around specific themes and includes student-developed learning activities, case study exercises, problem-based learning approaches, and practicum experiences.
  • A central feature of the curriculum is the integration of theory into practice through consideration of research and scholarship and its application to school settings.
  • School practitioners are involved with the planning, teaching, and assessment of each facet of the program.
  • Classes feature extensive use of panels, case study presentations, and discussions with school leaders.
  • The distinct advantage of SOU’s PAL Program is the thematic format that includes a variety of topics facilitated by school leaders. Case studies and school leader presentations are easily added and adapted to meet the needs and interests of the specific program cohort.

Student Evaluation

Proficiencies for students are demonstrated through:

  • Integration of theory into practice in case studies, research projects, problem-based learning, and class activities.
  • The Integration Portfolio that links coursework, practica, and personally identified research agendas in a document of program outcomes.
  • Coursework, practica, and the Integration Portfolio that provide evidence of meeting state and National Educational Leadership Preparation Standards.

Requirements and Meeting Times

The PAL is a seven term, 40-credit program including 6 credit hours of practicum (300 hours).

  • Coursework begins during summer session (approximately mid-June), meeting each weekday for three weeks in a combination of inperson and online formats.
  • Classes during the school year meet in person two or three weekends per term, Friday evening and all day Saturday, in addition to synchronous and asychronoous online coursework.

Principal Administrative Licensure

Dr. Renee Owen
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520 

 *Subject to TSPC Approval