Learn How to Become a Principal, Superintendent, or Other Administrator in Idaho with a Doctorate or Master’s in Educational Leadership

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The last time Idaho gave its electoral college votes to a Democratic Party presidential candidate was for Johnson in 1964.

But for a solid red state that routinely supports tax cuts and limited public spending, in Idaho everyone still chips in when it comes to investing in the future, investing in K-12 education. Education administrators –principals and superintendents– are no exception.

In 2021 state legislatures put together a budget that allocated, for the first time ever, over $2 billion for K-12 education. Already a nearly 4% increase, budget crafters weren’t done yet. Combined with federal dollars the proposed 2021 education budget climbed even further to a staggering 13.2% increase in K-12 spending: an increase of $310 million.

In fact, in Idaho K-12 education spending can be accurately described as the state’s number-one priority. It accounts for nearly half of the entire state budget; Idaho’s single-largest spending commitment.

It’s no surprise then that 2022 has also been an historic year for education. An 11% increase to K-12 education was just the beginning. The education budget passed this year specifically includes:

In Idaho valuing the importance of investing in education, and especially educational leadership, is as American as apple pie. You’re on friendly ground amidst a population that backs you up and wants you to succeed as you perfect your qualifications through a master’s or doctoral degree in a field like educational leadership.

When you’re a qualified educational leader it’s a win-win situation between school administration and students. Every parent wants their child to go on to become something exceptional, and Idahoans recognize this journey begins with exceptional leadership.

How to Become a Principal in Idaho – School-level Educational Leadership

It’s a thought that goes through the mind of any experienced teacher in Idaho: should I add an Administrator Certificate with a Pre-K-12 school principal endorsement to my current teaching credential?

If the answer is yes for you, and you have at least four years of teaching experience, your path towards becoming a principal starts with education.

Step 1. Complete an Approved Administrator Certificate Program for School Principal

The State Department of Education maintains a list of approved schools in Idaho that offer Administrator Certificate programs. The schools that offer a Pre-K-12 School Principal endorsement are currently:

These principal endorsement programs are typically part of master’s and doctoral programs in educational leadership or educational administration, and include a supervised year-long internship.

If you complete your graduate education at another institution, it may still fulfill Idaho’s educational requirements if it’s been less than two years since you graduated, and your program was approved by one of the following agencies:

Step 2. Add a Pre-K-12 Principal Endorsement to Your Current Teaching Credential

The complete application packet that you’ll submit to the State Department of Education includes:

School Principal Salary and Jobs in Idaho

The US Department of Labor keeps detailed tabs on principal salary data for Idaho, represented by the 75th percentile salary data for K-12 education administrators.

It reports the 2022 salary level for principals in Idaho broke $100k at $103,030.

Naturally the principal salary varies by city across the state:

Large high schools like Rocky Mountain HS near Boise and Lake City HS in Coeur d’Alene coincide with the metro locations where principals earn the highest wages.

In general the growth rate over the following decade for education administration professionals in Idaho is higher than most states at 15.6% through 2030. That’s also more than double the projected national growth rate in this field over the same time frame.

How to Become a Superintendent in Idaho – District-Level Educational Leadership

If you’re thinking about becoming a superintendent, then you’ve already been around the block and know the ropes.

The idea of adding an Administrator Certificate with a Pre-K-12 Superintendent endorsement onto your current teaching certificate just won’t stop nagging you. At a minimum you have four years teaching experience.

Step 1. Complete an Approved Administrator Certificate Program for Superintendents

The State Department of Education keeps this list of approved schools in Idaho that offer Administrator Certificate programs with Pre-K-12 School Principal endorsements:

These are graduate education programs in administration and educational leadership with courses that zero in on the skills required for being an effective superintendent. Expect to complete a practicum or internship at a school district central office as part of your program.

Out of recognition that you’re likely already a busy working professional in the school system, you’ll find plenty of online options when it comes to fulfilling this education requirement.

If you complete your graduate education at another school, it can still possibly fulfill the state’s educational requirements if you graduated within the past two years and your program was accredited by one of these agencies.

Step 2. Add a Pre-K-12 Superintendent Endorsement to Your Current Teaching Credential

To do this, the complete application packet that you’ll submit to the State Department of Education includes:

Superintendent Salary and Jobs in Idaho

Idaho’s annual superintendent salary clocked in at $116,270 statewide in 2022.

Represented by the US Department of Labor’s 90th-percentile figure for K-12 education administrators in the state, superintendent salaries varied by location:

Pocatello and Lewiston offer significantly higher wages for superintendents than the rest of the state.

Professional opportunities for school administrators tend to correlate with higher population centers. Some of the biggest school districts in the state are West Ada School District #2 in Meridian, Boise School District #1 just next door, and Nampa School District #131.

Educational Leadership Degree Options in Idaho: Doctorate and Master’s in Educational Leadership

You’ve been called. Take the reins and lead the next generation of Idaho’s students on to bigger and better things. Effective leadership effervesces from administrative leadership through teachers and on through their students; it’s contagious like a smile.

This isn’t about material profit. This is about generational profit; Idaho believes in you, and it’s time for you to get qualified to become a leader in positions like principal or superintendent.

Northwest Nazarene University

Accreditation: NWCCU

Northwest Nazarene University

M.Ed in Educational Leadership

Also offers:

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership (Superintendent, Building Administration)
Ed.S. in Director of Special Education

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for education administrators, kindergarten through secondary. Job growth projections from the US Department of Labor-sponsored resource, Projections Central. Figures are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed May 2023.

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