Preliminary Administrators License (Pre-AL) - for Catholic School Leaders

The University of Portland’s Preliminary Administrative License (Pre AL) for Catholic School Leaders is a variation of our administrative licensure program. It is tailored specifically to the needs of aspiring Catholic school leaders. This program variation, developed in response to an identified need from school and diocesan partners, works with experienced Catholic school administrators to develop and mentor the next generation of Catholic school leaders.

Crafted with practicing educators in mind, this pathway to licensure will support Catholic leadership candidates in a unique course of study that is:

  • Transformative
  • Faith-filled
  • Cohort-based
  • Accessible
  • Affordable
  • Aligned with National Catholic Elementary and Secondary School Standards, NCEA and State of Oregon Effective Educator Administrator and ISLCC Standards.

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Program Contact

Pat Thompson

Institutional and Spiritual Leadership

As Portland's premier institution preparing teachers and leaders, the School of Education has long delivered a preliminary administrator license (Pre-AL) based on national administrative standards and a review of over 100 administrative training programs throughout the United States. The Pre-AL for Catholic School Leaders focuses on the distinct experience of leadership in the Catholic P-12 milieu. Combining innovative coursework and faculty expertise with applied research and best practices, the Pre-AL for Catholic School Leaders weaves National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools into the existing UP Pre-AL Conceptual Framework.

The Pre AL for Catholic School Leaders also offers a fully-integrated faith formation experience designed to meet the needs of administrators as spiritual leaders within their respective Catholic schools, at either the diocesan or religious order-affiliated levels. Cohort-specific retreats and wider faith formation opportunities are woven throughout the curriculum to provide future Catholic school administrators with the spiritual foundation to be vibrant faith leaders in K-12 school settings.

Innovative, Accessible and Affordable

Candidates participate in a 14-month course of study, starting and ending with 2.5-week summer sessions on the beautiful University of Portland campus, with two additional courses and a supervised administrative practicum experience, in the Catholic school at which they currently serve, during the school year between these summers.  Candidates also complete an on-line course  during the intervening academic year. Program elements include:

  • Retreats and faith formation opportunities integrated throughout the program, at no additional cost
  • Structure and timing of courses designed to accommodate working educators
  • Opportunities for regional networking and exchange of best practices with professionals throughout the western United States
  • Qualification for an Oregon Administrative License, with potential regional reciprocity
  • Tuition rate set at or below competing local programs; meals, books, and on-campus housing (if needed) included.

Cohort-based, Intentional and Integrated Courses

Offered within the context of a close-knit cohort of experienced peers, the six required courses in the Pre-AL for Catholic School Leaders are clustered around a trio of themes (Catholic Identity and Mission, Catholic Leadership and Vocation, and Stewardship and Sustainability of Catholic Schools) which form the foundation of administration in a Catholic school setting.

Pre-AL for Catholic School Leaders Course Sequence

Summer I
ED 545 - Leadership and Organizational Change (3 cr.)
ED 547 - Resource Allocation, Finance and Management (3 cr.)
ED 544 - Human Resource Development and Management (3 cr.)
(Reading-in-Conference online course)
ED 549 - Catholic School Leadership Pre-AL Practicum (3 cr.)
(Practicum hours will be completed annually beginning in the Fall semester.
All course requirements will be successfully completed by the end of the Spring semester).
Summer II
ED 548 - Supervision for Instructional Improvement (3 cr.)
ED 546 - Policy, Ethics and the Law (3 cr.)


In addition to the program admission requirements for a Post Master Certificate, candidates interested in the Preliminary Administrator License for Catholic School Leaders need to be currently working in, or planning to work in a Catholic/religious/private school. 

Applications to our selective admission process will be reviewed on a rolling basis from November 1 through April 1. Final deadline for applying is April 1. Applications are only considered complete after ALL required application items have been received.

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FINANCIAL AID: The cost to participants in the Catholic School Leadership Pre-AL is limited to the cost of the academic credits. Candidates are invited to apply for financial aid, and may find additional information on UP's financial aid webpage. Please consult the financial aid calendar to ensure you meet all deadlines. Candidates applying for financial aid are encouraged to do so early – applications for aid can be made before an offer of admission.