Principal & Administrator Professional Certification

Principal & Administrator Professional Certification Program is Now Closed

The UW Tacoma will be closing the Principal and Administrator Professional Certification program after the current cohort finishes in 2015.  We are no longer accepting applications. Please visit the PESB Washington website for a list of approved programs in Washington State.

Educational Administrator Certification Program

The University of Washington Tacoma Educational Administrator certification program celebrates its 15th anniversary this June!  Come and earn your Educational Administration Certification and be a part of University of Washington Tacoma’s tradition of excellence! Applications for early consideration to join the 15th Cohort are due Monday, December 1, 2014. Please visit their website at:


Program Overview

School Administrator Professional Certification is a job-embedded, contextualized professional development and certification process. The process focuses on increasing leadership skills in order to transform schools and positively impact student learning. Specific emphasis is placed on the understanding and application of the six Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards as related to the candidate’s school improvement project. Upon completion of this program candidates will present evidence to an assessment panel created by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) and composed of practicing school administrators. This panel will be the ultimate determinant of Professional Certification for principal and program administrator candidates.


You must be employed as a PreSchool - 12 school principal, assistant principal or PreSchool - 12 school program administrator for at least two years to be eligible for this program.  (For more information about how to meet requirements to become an administrator or principal visit the UW Tacoma's Educational Administration Program website.) Applicants must have a basic familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint in order to prepare documentation for final panel presentations.

Classroom Sessions & Individual Consultations

Four required classroom meetings provide an orientation to the process and to the Professional Certification benchmarks; self assessment, data analysis, determination of school context, and development of an integrated project plan.  Participants gather benchmark evidence and prepare their panel presentations while meeting with the instructor for one on one feedback and coaching.  Program includes a practice panel presentation with feedback from peers and the instructor.  Participants must complete all course work and make their final presentation to OSPI/PESB by August 1, 2015.

Professional Growth Plan and Project Implementation

Candidates participate in a variety of professional development activities and implement new strategies to positively impact student learning. Candidates gather evidence related to providing benchmarks in order to demonstrate their developed capacity in major focus areas.

Final Panel Presentations for the 2014-2015 Cohort Must be Completed by August 31, 2015

Candidates prepare and present evidence to a Professional Education Standards Board panel by appointment only.  Please contact the instructor, Don Lapinski to schedule an appointment.  There will be no extensions after this date as the program is closing.

About the instructor

Don Lapinski, M.A. earned his bachelors degree in education from Seattle University and a masters degree in school administration from Central Washington University. He taught 6th grade for eleven years and served as the 6th grade Resident Outdoor School Director for an outdoor education program held annually in May/June. After deciding that he wanted to move into an administrative position, he taught 3rd grade for a year to gain primary school experience.

Don served as an elementary principal for 17 years, one year as a junior high principal and four years as a middle school principal. After retirement, he returned to the Auburn School District upon request to take a temporary one year assignment to fill in a temporary vacancy as a high school principal. During his tenure as an elementary principal, he was an active member in the state elementary principals’ association and served as South King County Regional Director for 6 years. He was the state representative to the National Elementary School Principals’ Association for 5 years; Zone 9 Director for 3 years and represented eight states to NAESP (Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Idaho).

After retiring for the second time, he became involved in development of the University of Washington Tacoma’s teacher and principal certification programs. He taught in this program for nine years and served as an intern supervisor for 13 years. Don developed the curriculum, teaches and coaches school administrators in the Administrator and Principal Professional Certification program offered through the Professional Development Center at UW Tacoma.