NJ EXCEL (EXpedited Certification for Educational Leadership) is an innovative state-approved program that provides alternatives to the traditional graduate coursework required for supervisor certification and the master’s degree in educational administration that has been required for principal and school administrator certification.

NJ EXCEL’s philosophy is grounded in the need to prepare visionary school leaders as agents of change and improvement in an era of transitional school reform, and as instructional leaders who guide & support schools, programs, and teaching that enable all students to achieve state academic standards. To this end, NJ EXCEL’s performance-based curriculum is aligned with New Jersey Standards for School Leaders, the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (2008 ISSLC), and the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. NJ EXCEL is especially designed to focus on preparing educational leaders to function effectively in New Jersey’s districts and schools. NJ EXCEL, therefore, emphasizes the study and analysis of topics and authentic educational issues within local district and school contexts, and within the broader context of the state’s Strategic Plan for Improving Education in New Jersey, the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, Common Core/PARCC, relevant state laws, policies, and initiatives.

Who is Eligible for NJ EXCEL?

Eligibility for all NJ EXCEL Models requires, at a minimum, a master’s degree in a field related to education and more than four years of experience as a classroom teacher and/or educational specialist. NJ EXCEL offers four (4) program models that are designed to match applicants’ career goals and educational and professional experience with an expedited path to state certification for supervisor, principal, and/or school administrator.

How Does NJ EXCEL Lead to State Certification?

NJ EXCEL candidates must pass the appropriate state-required test for principal (SLLA) and/or school administrator (SSA) to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, which allows candidates to seek employment in a position requiring principal and/or school administrator certification. Once hired in one of these positions, the state then issues a provisional certificate to the new administrator who is then required to complete a one-year or two-year Residency to be eligible for standard certification. Supervisor certification does not require a state test and may be granted upon completion of the requisite hours approved by the state.