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California Educator Credentialing Examinations



Administrative Services Credentials authorize the holder to provide the following school services in grades 12 and below, including preschool, and in classes organized primarily for adults:

  • Develop, coordinate, and assess instructional programs
  • Evaluate certificated and classified personnel
  • Provide students discipline, including but not limited to, suspension and expulsion
  • Provide certificated and classified employee discipline, including but not limited to, suspension, dismissal, and reinstatement
  • Supervise certificated and classified personnel
  • Manage school site, district, or county level fiscal services
  • Recruit, employ, and assign certificated and classified personnel
  • Develop, coordinate, and supervise student support services—including, but not limited to, extracurricular activities, pupil personnel services, health services, library services, and technology support services

An individual must hold an Administrative Services Credential to provide the following services in grades preschool, K–12 and adults:

  • Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of instructional services at the school site level
  • Evaluate certificated personnel employed at the school site level, with the exception of the site administrator
  • Student and certificated personnel employee discipline services at the school site level

An individual seeking a preliminary Administrative Services Credential needs to (1) hold a valid prerequisite credential; (2) complete five years of full-time teaching or other relevant experience; (3) per Education Code section 44270.5, complete either an Administrative Services preparation program or achieve a passing score on the California Preliminary Administrative Credential Examination (CPACE); (4) satisfy the basic skills requirement. Those applying based on a preparation program must also have an offer of employment in an administrative position for the preliminary certificate.

Read more information regarding an Administrative Services Credential for individuals prepared in California links to a PDF.

In October 2008 the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved the development and use of the California Preliminary Administrative Services Credential Examination (CPACE) to satisfy the examination option toward earning a Preliminary Administrative Services credential. The CPACE is a California-specific examination with a focus on California school law, finances, organization, and English learner student needs.

The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson was contracted by the CTC for the development, administration, and scoring of the CPACE.

NOTE: The February 2015 administration of the CPACE was the final administration of the original exam. A revised version of the exam began to be administered July 8, 2015. Test scores from the original CPACE exam cannot be combined with scores from the revised CPACE to obtain the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential.

The set of administrator knowledge and skills described in the CPACE Content Specifications and reflected in the CPACE is organized into the following six domains:

  • Domain I: Visionary Leadership
  • Domain II: Instructional Leadership
  • Domain III: School Improvement Leadership
  • Domain IV: Professional Learning and Growth Leadership
  • Domain V: Organizational and Systems Leadership
  • Domain VI: Community Leadership

Review the CPACE Content Specifications links to a PDF.

Access CPACE registration fees and other test-specific information.