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MA in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies College of Education

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Preliminary Administrative Service Credential (PASC) Program

The Preliminary Administrative Service Credential (PASC) is a multi-pathway program for students to achieve their Administrative Credential on the path to a career in Education Administration. There are multiple pathways to completing the PASC, and which program (PASC only, M.A., or Ed.D.) you enroll in will depend on your needs. One of the key benefits to completing your PASC at Sac State, is that both of our graduate program options embed the credential into the program so that students graduate with a credential in hand.

If you are interested in a career in Education Administration in the state of California, the College of Education has a pathway to fit your needs.


What is a Preliminary Administrative Service Credential (PASC)?

The Preliminary Administrative Service Credential (PASC) is required by the state of California for all practicing administrators in public and charter TK-12 schools. The PASC program provides students with the content, practice, and skills needed to successfully lead equity-focused TK-12 schools.

Who is a PASC for?

Anyone interested in obtaining a leadership position within TK-12 schools (i.e., Vice/Assistant Principal, Principal, Director, Coordinator, Superintendent.

Why get your PASC at Sac State?

Fully accredited through the Commission on California Teacher Credentialing (CTC), Sacramento State is one of only a few universities in the state of California that is a full member of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA). Review the options below based on your program of study to determine if the PASC is a good fit for you.


Graduates of the program have established themselves in a variety of positions and roles across the higher education industry. Among the accomplishments of our graduates have been:

  • Community College Administrator
  • Student Services Professionals
  • University Management Professional
  • Program or Project Director
  • Athletics Department Director

Who is the PASC program for?

The PASC program is for individuals interested in being Administrators in TK-12 systems throughout California. In California, the PASC is required in order to have an administrative position (i.e. Vice principal, principal, director, coordinator, deputy superintendent, superintendent).

The different pathways below will appeal to candidates in different stages of their scholastic and professional journeys.

PASC only M.A. + PASC Ed.D. + PASC
Time to complete 10.5 months 1.5 years 3 years
Degree Awarded ~ Master of Arts in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Credential Awarded PASC PASC PASC
Contact Dr. Araceli Feliz,
Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Dr. Geni Cowan,
Professor, Graduate & Professional Studies in Education
Dr. Sarah Jouganatos,
Chair, Graduate & Professional Studies 

Completion Process

Each PASC pathway has a different completion timeline outlined below. All versions require 24 units of PASC specific courses, with both the M.A. and Ed.D. versions embedding some of this into the program as fieldwork.

PASC only:
The PASC-only program is a 10.5 month program that offers both the internship option* or the regular pathway. Students take courses in fall, spring, and 6 weeks in summer.

*Sac State does not place students in an internship. However, if they obtain an administrative position they can take the PASC coursework while serving as an intern administrator.

PASC Catalog Details

M.A. + PASC:
The M.A. and PASC coursework overlap throughout the two semesters and summer. Upon successful completion of the coursework and the California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA), students are awarded their PASC mid-summer (after 10.5 months of coursework). They will complete one final semester of coursework to complete their Master’s degree.

M.A. in Educational Leadership (TK-12/Higher Ed.) Program Details

Ed.D. + PASC:
Selected courses throughout the Ed.D. coursework are aligned to the PASC standards. PASC students also take two field experience courses during the second year of the EdD program (3 units in fall and 3 units in spring). Upon successful completion of the Ed.D. coursework, the two field experience courses, and the CalAPA students are awarded their PASC credentials.

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Program Details


“If you want to be an administrator, you have to get your credential. Without the PASC program, this would have been a lot harder as far as time and finances. This way everything was wrapped into the cost of the Ed.D. program. It was stressful, but it was worth it.”

~ Dr. Julius Walker, Assistant Principal
Ed.D. + PASC graduate (2021)

read more about Dr. Walker's journey


“I have loved this program even more than I expected. I feel like I've grown and learned so much about not just leadership, but also myself. Meeting the different professors and my cohort has been actually life-changing. After this, I truly feel as though I understand how to lead others with equity and create a positive community within a school.”

~ Christina Croshal, Vice Principal
M.A. + PASC graduate (2022)

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Do I have to get an M.A. or Ed.D. in addition to the PASC?
No, there are various program pathways toward the PASC. You have the option of obtaining only a PASC, an M.A. and a PASC, an Ed.D. and a PASC, the M.A. only, or the Ed.D. only. (note: we could link to the explanation of each).

What is the CalAPA?
The California Adminsitrator Performance Assessment is a performance-based assessment required by the state of California. There are three cycles that must be taken: (1) Equity Gap Analysis; (2); (3). Each CalAPA cycle has four steps to address (investigate, plan, act, and reflect) that correspond to a cycle of inquiry, and there will be rubrics/scores that correspond to each cycle.

Do I have to take the CalAPA?
Yes, to earn a preliminary administrative services credential (PASC), candidates must pass the California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA) as well as successfully complete a CTC approved administrator preparation program.

Who scores my CalAPA?
Each respective PASC program prepares candidates to take each cycle of the CalAPA. Upon completion of the actual cycle, candidates submit each cycle through Pearson. Each cycle is scored using rubrics by Pearson CalAPA reviewers. Results are provided to the PASC coordinator and the student.

What happens if I do not pass the CalAPA?
If you do not pass the CalAPA the first time, students will enroll in a one-unit support course with the CalAPA Coordinator. The CalAPA coordinator will work with each student individually to identify an individual plan.

Does the program prepare me for the CalAPA?
Yes, each pathway toward the path purposefully has interwoven CalAPA supporting in coursework and fieldwork. Some program requirements are specifically designed to introduce and prepare candidates for the content covered in the CalAPA.

When are the courses held?
The course meetings vary based on the program pathway you enroll in. For the PASC-only and the MA/PASC combination the program is hybrid meaning some meetings are held on campus in-person (Mondays from 5:30-8:40 pm) others are held online (asynchronously from 5:30-8:40 pm and synchronously), depending on the course. The Ed.D. PASC program courses are held online (asynchronously and synchronously).

Other Credential Requirements


EDLP (Higher Ed Pathway) Program Coordinator:
Geni Cowan, Professor

EDLP (TK-12 Pathway) Coordinator:
Araceli Feliz, Assistant Professor

Ed.D. Program Coordinator:
Tina Weekley, Program Analyst