The Principal Institute (PI) is a Colorado Department of Education approved alternative principal authorization program that offers a relevant and and engaging pathway to earn an initial Colorado Principal license. The PI program is a project-based program facilitated by practicing experts in the field of school leadership. The program is designed to meet the learning needs of both accomplished and aspiring school leaders from diverse school settings seeking professional development and/or licensure.  

State statute allows up to 3 years for completion of an alternative authorization program, however, the PI program is structured to be completed in 13 months. See the Program Costs page for more information. 

The program delivery is an online format, making access easy for candidates in any location in the state. We utilize the PowerSchool LMS system for content and structure and ZOOM video conferencing for connection and communication. During the program, candidates create a standards-based professional portfolio that demonstrates proficiency in the Colorado Quality Principal Standards.  This portfolio holds relevance and benefit for the program participant well beyond his or her time in the program.  PI aims to nurture courageous leadership, innovative thinking, and serve as a powerful change agency to serve rural, suburban, and urban school communities. 

Application to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for the alternative principal authorization can begin once a candidate has secured a qualifying position and has joined an alternative authorization program. 

Graduate credits are available at a low additional cost.  These credits may transfer directly into a graduate programs at partner colleges and universities.