California Administrative Services Credential

What is the California Administrative Services Credential?

This is the credential that allows you to lead and be responsible for evaluating personnel and instructional programs in California. With it, not only can you serve as a school site or district leader, but you can also develop instructional programs, hire and train personnel, evaluate and supervise staff and faculty, manage fiscal services, oversee school operations, and develop student support services.

Earning the Administrative Services Credential is a two-step process. First, you are required to earn your preliminary administrative services credential. This program is designed to help you achieve that. Second, once you are in an administrative position, you will be required to clear your administrative credential.

What are my career options if I earn the credential?

There are many career paths available with the administrative services credential. You can use your credential to work as an assistant principal or principal leveraging your role impacting a school site. You could aim for a district position or a director overseeing areas such as counseling, educational services, special education or curriculum and instruction.

View the videos below to hear the career paths from three California Administrative Services Credential holders:




How do I know if earning the credential is the right path for me?

Maybe you’ve thought about having a greater impact on your community beyond your classroom. Maybe you see yourself transforming the lives of all students—not just those in your classroom. Maybe you feel ready for the next challenge in your career. Maybe you’ve already taken on leadership roles at your site and recognize your leadership potential. There are many reasons why this credential may be your next step.

View the videos below about the motivations of three California Administrative Services Credential holders:



Still not sure if the California Administrative Services Credential fits into your career plans? We’re happy to help guide you through your choices and help you decide if this is the right path for you. Contact us by email at

What are the requirements to earn the preliminary credential?

To be eligible for the Preliminary Administrative Credential, you must have five years of verified experience as a credentialed professional. You can be credentialed as a teacher, a counselor, librarian, and/or health or rehab services professional. If you are a teacher, you must have your clear teaching credential to be eligible for the Preliminary Administrative Credential.

How can I earn the credential?

You can earn your Preliminary Credential in three different ways:

  1. Complete a CTC-approved preparation program in administrative services and the 3 CalAPA cycle assessments, resulting in a formal recommendation by the program provider*
  2. Complete a one year CTC-approved intern program*
  3. Achieve a passing score on the California Preliminary Administrative Credential Examination Program (CPACE)

*  You can find Preparation and Intern program providers by using the CTC’s dashboard

View the videos below to hear about the paths of three California Administrative Services Credential holders took to earn their credential:




What happens after I earn my Preliminary Administrative Services Credential?

After earning the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, you are ready to apply for jobs that require this credential. Once you’re in that role, you will plan how you will earn your Clear Administrative Credential , often in the district where you’ve taken the position. To be eligible for your Clear Administrative Credential, you must:

  • Possess a valid Preliminary Administrative Services Credential
  • Verify a minimum of two years of successful experience in a full-time administrative position in a California school
  • Complete a CTC-approved Administrative Services Induction Program

*  You can find Induction Program providers by using the CTC’s dashboard

Where can I learn more about Preliminary Administrative Services Credential?

  • Looking for detailed information about the credential, its history and its regulations? Check out the CTC’s documentation here.
  • Looking for information and advice about your own context, how the credential might fit with your career plans, and what your options are? Contact us at any time – we’re here to help guide you through this process.

Contact information:
Kate O’Connor