California Administrators Performance Assessment

What is the CalAPA?
Since 2018, all CTC approved preliminary administrative credential programs must participate in the California Administrators Performance Assessment (CalAPA). This is a required assessment. Through the CalAPA, candidates demonstrate the knowledge and skills tied to the California Administrators Performance Expectations (CAPE), the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (CPSL), and the California Administrators Content Expectations (CACE) in order to receive the Preliminary Administrative Credential and serve as a school leader. Focusing on instructional leadership and school improvement leadership, the CalAPA is designed to assess a candidate’s preparedness prior to entering a school as an administrator.

How do I sign up?
To sign up for the CalAPA, you will create an account in CTC’s online system managed by Pearson. Details will be provided early in the program regarding how to register.

What is the assessment like?
The CalAPA consists of three leadership cycles, each requiring you to investigate, plan, act, and reflect. School Leadership Academy coursework in three specific courses aligns with these assessments. The cycles include:

  • Cycle 1: Analyzing Data to Inform School Improvement and Promote Equity (aligns with EDUC537x)
  • Cycle 2: Facilitating Communities of Practice (aligns with EDUC641x)
  • Cycle 3: Supporting Teacher Growth (aligns with EDUC549x)

Details regarding each of the cycles and their periodic updates in D2L (our learning management system) and at the CTC site online.

What do I have to submit?
Submitted work will include evidence of leadership practice for each section in the form of written narratives and videos. You are responsible for having the appropriate materials and equipment to complete the tasks; this includes video recording equipment such as a cell phone or video camera. All final submissions are submitted to the online platform managed by Pearson and must be submitted within 18 months of when you register. Please save all submissions in a safe place should you need to access them again; once uploaded, you will not be able to retrieve nor access your submissions from the Pearson system.

When do I have to submit each cycle?
Since each cycle is built into School Leadership Academy coursework, you will be submitting cycle assignments throughout the term of that specific cycle; the goal is that by the time you finish the program, you will have completed all three leadership cycles, a requirement to be recommended to the CTC.

What does my school site need to know?
Your school site needs to know that you are working toward your Preliminary Administrative Credential and will be taking the required CalAPA. The leadership cycles require you to participate in school activities, access and gather data, plan and conduct meetings, observe and coach teachers, and identify and solve pressing problems of practice. You will need to speak with your school’s leaders about access to data, colleagues, and information related to instructional leadership and school improvement. Be sure to be upfront with school leadership and plan early to avoid any potential conflicts. Share the details of the leadership cycles, as they may have ways in which to support you.

You may need to secure a consent form for any video you provide that includes minors. Please check with your school site and district regarding specific consent policies and forms.

Can I get help on the leadership cycles?
There are very specific guidelines regarding ways in which instructors can offer guidance and assistance. You will have access to the rubrics, templates and exemplars provided by the CTC, and time during coursework to collaborate with your peers to receive coaching. Instructors are allowed to provide coaching, yet cannot assess your work against the CalAPA rubrics, edit your work, nor critique drafts. They can, however, make recommendations, explain the tasks, ask and answer questions, check in with your progress, and review any resources available to you.

There are several resources available to you online including templates, guides, and how-to videos. It is recommended that you review these resources prior to beginning the leadership cycles.

Who assesses my submissions?
Teams of trained educators located throughout California assess your submissions. Assessors hold administrative credentials, have experience as school leaders, and have undergone training through CalAPA.

How are the leadership cycles scored?
After final submission, your work will be assessed and scored based on the CalAPA rubrics. You must pass each of the Leadership Cycles within 18 months of registration. If you do not receive a passing score, you must make the necessary revisions and resubmit. You will be required to pay for that cycle submission again.

How are my CalAPA submissions affected if I choose to defer my enrollment?
If you elect to defer your enrollment to a future cohort due to a life-changing event, the time, support, and fees required to complete the CalAPA leadership cycles may be negatively impacted. You still must complete the leadership cycles within 18 months of your original registration for the cycles. You may also need to pay additional fees to retake and/or extend time to complete and pass the CalAPA.

Is there a fee?
There is an additional fee payable to the CTC of $125 for Cycle 1, $150 for cycle 2, and $150 for cycle 3 for a total of $425. This fee is separate from your USC School Leadership Academy program fee, and is payable to CTC through Pearson.

Find out more about the CalAPA