From start to finish, program gives new admins tools for success
May 15, 2023
One of Kathy Wehunt’s favorite parts of ACSA’s Clear Administrative Credential Program comes near the end.
At the culmination of this two-year program, Wehunt attends a meeting with the credential candidate and their coach. During this exit interview, she hears about how the coach guided the new administrator through their crucial first two years on the job, when they were leading a school for the first time.
“When they’re in that exit interview, you just hear that passion, that appreciation. … It gives you goosebumps,” said Wehunt, a Local Program Coordinator in Palmdale School District. “A lot of people actually have tears at the end because it’s just so exciting. They’re so happy.”
Now it’s time for the next class of new administrators to begin their two-year credentialing journey. ACSA has begun accepting applications for the Fall 2023-25 cohort of the Clear Administrative Credentialing Program. The deadline to apply is August 31, 2023.
Since the program’s inception in 2004, ACSA has supported more than 1,500 administrators through their first years in administration.
“ACSA’s Clear Administrative Credential Program, in my opinion, is the platinum standard for clear credentialing programs in the state of California,” Wehunt said. “It provides a one-on-one coach to a new administrator. Who wouldn’t want [a coach] supporting you on site for your first two years? I didn’t have that.”
ACSA is the largest provider of coaching, professional development and assessment for attaining the Clear Administrative Services Credential. Candidates are accepted into one of ACSA’s 18 local programs and three local program affiliates. These programs serve certain geographic areas or specific LEAs. Local Program Coordinators then match candidates with an ACSA-certified Leadership Coach who provides support over the course of this two-year program.
The program pairs candidates with ACSA Leadership Coaches — experienced school leaders in the candidates’ area who are specially trained in adult learning theory.
ACSA Leadership Coaches are trained in the Evocative Coaching Model, which was developed by Bob and Megan Tschannen-Moran. Evocative Coaching uses a person-centered, strengths-based approach to move leaders toward their desired destination through four movements: listening, empathy, appreciative inquiry and design.
Coaches receive ongoing training each year, so they are up-to-date on the latest trends in education and have opportunities to continually hone their coaching abilities.
Wehunt, who is also a coach in the program, said one of the benefits of job-embedded coaching is the ability to receive immediate feedback. Wehunt can observe her candidates’ interactions with students, teachers and parents and provide praise on what’s working well or tools that can help the candidate handle a situation differently next time.
Although newly hired administrators have one year to enroll in a clear credential program, they would be doing themselves a disservice to not start working with a coach right away.
“There’s a big difference between being a teacher and then going into administration,” Wehunt said. “You don’t always know until you see the other side.”
But once candidates are at the end of their Clear Administrative Credential Program journey, they have received the support and guidance to help them become the best possible leaders for their students.
“From start to finish — this program is amazing,” Wehunt said.
ACSA Clear Administrative Credential Program
Registration for Fall 2023-25 cohort opened May 1 and will continue through August 31.
How to apply: Three easy steps
Step 1: Contact a Local Program Coordinator for advisement (list available online). Step 2: Complete the online application and upload required documents. Step 3: If accepted, you will receive an invitation to register and instructions to pay coaching fees.
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