Principal and Director Leadership Licensure Program

Leadership Licensure Program (LLP) for Principals/Directors

The MSAA Leadership Licensure Program (LLP) is a twelve month program of study for qualified Massachusetts educators to obtain initial licensure through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as a Principal/ Assistant Principal (PreK–8; 5–12), or Supervisor/ Director (including Director of Guidance, not including Special Education Director).

Designed to fit the schedule and interests of current teachers and teacher leaders, the program is administered by MSAA with BHELS providing curriculum and instruction. 

LLP is a rigorous, comprehensive program built upon the knowledge base of effective teaching and learning and is grounded in best practices of instructional and organizational leadership. Candidates develop the requisite knowledge and skills to become proficient in DESE's Professional Standards for Administrators through the program's integrated coursework, fieldwork, state mandated MA Performance Assessments for Leaders (PAL) tasks and academic performance assessments. 

  • This is a 12-months program (July-June) for licensure. Additional time may be required for candidates who choose to seek CAGS in Interdisciplinary Studies: Individualized Track or an M.Ed in Educational Leadership and Management Principal/Assistant Principal Concentration (non-licensure) through Fitchburg State University, 18 credits via LLP Modules; register and pay for remaining courses through Fitchburg State University. You must hold a Masters in order to apply for the CAGS. Subject to change. Application requirements and admission decisions relating to the CAGS and M.Ed. is solely at the discretion of Fitchburg State and is separate from the application requirements and decisions of the MSAA LLP. 
  • Curriculum modules are taught concurrently with the DESE required 500-hour practicum (300 hours for supervisors / directors) so candidates can apply the course content in their district settings. Candidates work under the supervision of a school leader (who must hold at least the same license as the candidate is seeking) and have regular opportunities for feedback, assessment, and . During the practicum, problem based activities based on the instructional topics covered in the program prepare participants for the 4 PALs (Principal Assessments for Leaders) that are now required of all aspiring principals and assistant principals.
  • Optional Guidance Module: Additional weekend in January for Guidance Counselors. We are offering an additional weekend module focusing on the Director of Guidance role. See page six of the information packet for more information. 
  •  The LLP is a highly selective program, with rigorous academic and performance standards coupled with continual support for participants during the instructional program, the practicum, and the first year of employment as a school administrator. Please note: Pearson/DESE the entity that oversees the Performance Assessment for Leaders (MAPAL) has instituted a per task fee. This is subject to change, please This is in addition to the LLP/Fitchburg State University tuition and DESE license fee. Information relating to the MAPAL can be found here.

Curriculum Themes

  • Effective communication skills and tools
  • Equity and inclusion for all children and adults in schools
  • Reflection as a habit of mind
  • Ongoing assessment that drives decision making
  • Professional community as a foundation for school improvement
  • Research-based practices and programs
  • Family and community engagement
  • (Optional) Role of the Guidance Counselor

Teachers seeking licensure as a principal, assistant principal, director. To apply, you must have three (3) years full time employment under your MA-DESE Educator (Teaching) License.

Course schedule
  • 2 full weeks in the summer
  • 12 Friday evening / full day Saturday sessions

Courses are held at the offices of the Massachusetts School Administrators' Association (MSAA) at 33 Forge Parkway, Franklin, MA (unless otherwise noted.)

Learn More

2023-2024 LLP Information Packet
2023-2024 Tuition Information
Visit the MSAA Site