Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about the WiscAd program. For other questions or concerns, please contact us here, or at (715) 246-6555.

Q: Is the WiscAd   Program approved by the Department of Public Instruction?

A: WiscAd is a DPI-approved route to administration certification program. Candidates who successfully complete the WiscAd  program will be eligible for one of the following Wisconsin administrator certifications:

  • School Business Administrator
  • Director of Instruction
  • Director of Special Education
  • Principal
  • Superintendent

Q: How does the WiscAd   Program differ from a traditional graduate-level educator preparation program?

A: WiscAd is an accelerated program with most candidates completing in 12 months. Candiates are enrolled in a cohort  (stay with the same instrutor and classmates) for the first two semesters of program coursework. Classes are offered online to accommodate busy work schedules. If candidates  complete the WiscAd program and are interested in adding on another administrator certification, they can complete their second administrative program in two semesters or less.

Q:  Are there separate pathways for each certification area?

A:  WiscAd candidates are enrolled in a cohort that include all administrator certification areas.  Candidates apply the topics learned to their own certification area(s) and enjoy learning from others’ perspectives – much like an administrative team!

Q:  Will I need to purchase any textbooks?

A:  The WiscAd program may require books to be purchased and used in class.  These books are normally for a nominal amount and are practical and relevant to the WiscAd certification areas.

Q: How often does the cohort/class meet?

A:  The WiscAd program is primarily asynchronous with three 1-hour zoom sessions per semester.  To look for the upcoming schedule refer to the calendar posted on the website.

For the additional licensure program, no Zoom class sessions are required. 

Q: Where are classes held?

A: WiscAd is an asynchronous, online program. Optional cohort class sessions are attended  via  Zoom.

Q: Can I start any semester?

A: A new cohort starts every semester (January through April;  May through August;  and September through December) so new cohorts start three times throughout the year and classes are taken in order.

Q: How many graduate credits can I earn?

A: Semester I = 3 graduate credits

Semester II = 3 graduate credits

Semester III = 3 graduate credits

Total  = 9 graduate credits (for one certification)

Semester IV (optional second certification) = 3 graduate credits

Total = 12 graduate credits (for two certification areas)

A: For the additional licensure program, 3 graduate credits per certification from the practicum semester can be earned.

Q: Can I obtain  a Master's Degree?

A: The WiscAd program partners with Saint Mary's University of Minnesota to offer graduate credit. A candidate earns  9  graduate credits for one certification area and 12 graduate credits for two certification areas while in the WiscAd program. A candidate earns 3 graduate credits while in the WiscAd program for additional licensure. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota will automatically accept  up to 12 credits to their 30-credit Master'd Degree program. A WiscAd candidate can complete the WiscAd program for administrator certification and opt to continue on to earn a Master's Degree through Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.  A Master's degree must be completed in order for Educate-WI to endorse a candidate for an administrative license.

For more information go to: Education, M.A. with Custom Specialization 

Q: Do I need a  Master's Degree prior to starting the program?

A: A Master's Degree must be obtained by the end of the WiscAd Program if pursuing certifications in School Business Administration, Principal, Director of Instruction, and/or Director of Special Education and Pupil Services.    If applying for Superintendent certification a  Master's Degree is required prior to starting the WiscAd Program and an Ed Specialist Degree or an equivalency (60 graduate credits) is required at the time of program completion.

If you currently hold a Master's degree (in any field) a second Master's degree is not required to complete the WiscAd program.


Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Financial Aid is available for WiscAd candidates through Saint Mary's University of Minnesota for semesters in which credits are earned. Financial aid comes in the form of a student loan; grants are not available to graduate level students.

Q: Does financial aid from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota go directly to WiscAd  for tuition fees?

A: The WiscAd candidate receives the financial aid refund check from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and then pays Educate-WI with a check or credit card to pay for tuition. Candidates are wholly responsible for payment of program fees whether or not they choose to access a student loan.

Q: Can I complete the administrative practicum in the district I am working in?

A: Yes, as long as there is a cooperating administrator who is willing to work with you during your practicum.

Q: When completing the 3 Years of Teaching Verification document in the WiscAd application, can I count my teaching experience under a 1-year License with Stipulations  ?

A:  Yes, DPI counts experience as a teacher while holding a 1-Year License with Stipulations. Teaching experience while working in a public school and not appropriately licensed for their teaching assignment (e.g. licensed as a math teacher, but was teaching English and never applied for a license) does not count toward the three years of experience.

Q: Can I complete the administrator practicum during  the summer?

A: Yes.

Q:  What is the prerequisite teaching license for a license in administration?

A:  The prerequisite teaching license  for a license in administration (minus school business manager) requires the educator to hold or is eligible to hold a Tier II (Provisional), Tier III (Lifetime), or Tier IV (Master Educator) license.  The School Business Manager certification does not have a pre-requisite teaching license requirement.

Q:  Can I apply for the WiscAd Program if I only hold an experience based license through DPI?

A:  No. The experience-based license is a Tier I level license. In order to be eligible for an administrator license (other than School Business Manager) the candidate must have a Tier II (Provisional), Tier III (Lifetime), or Tier IV (Master Educator) license.

Q:  Can I transfer credits from another university and graduate program?

A:  The Educate-WI WiscAd Program is designed for three semesters of 3 classes with specific learning objectives toward the program outcomes. Transfer credits are not accepted into this program.

Apply to the WiscAd Program!