The Missouri Leadership Development System (MLDS) is a professional development program for school principals implemented through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Regional Professional Development Centers. The leadership development modules are led by regional leadership facilitators and available to any Missouri principal at no cost.

With full implementation of the Missouri Leadership Development System (MLDS), MAESP and MOASSP in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, have turned attention to the development of an alternate path for the career administrator certificate. Currently, your four-year initial certificate can be granted with the completion of an approved master's degree. At the end of four years one can apply for a transition certificate that will last for an additional six years. By the end of ten-years you must have earned an educational specialist degree or doctorate to receive the career certificate, or you will no longer be able to hold the job of principal.

Designed to align with the Missouri Leadership Development System (MLDS), MAESP and MOASSP have partnered with the Education Leaders Network (ELN) to develop 15 micro-credentials (MCs). A micro-credential is not a course. Each micro-credential is a companion activity to the MLDS where principals can earn a badge to demonstrate a particular competency. The process includes submitting artifacts to be evaluated by an assessor to earn a shareable badge. These MCs are 15 individual assessments covering the major components of the research based MLDS. These MCs are designed to offer a rigorous, yet viable alternative to obtaining an educational specialist degree and provide interested principals a different path to the career certificate.

In addition to assisting in the development of these micro-credentials, Ed Leaders Network (ELN) will host the MCs on their learning management system, and provide a mechanism for storing uploaded documents, and providing electronic "badges" for each assessment and level. MAESP and MoASSP members currently have access to ELN through the complimentary membership provided as a member benefit.

When an MC is successfully completed, an official MC badge will be awarded which in turn may be used toward the Career Certificate requirements. All 15 MCs must be successfully completed to earn a recommendation for the career certificate from MAESP and MOASSP. Once a candidate has successfully earned all 15 badges, MAESP or MOASSP will notify DESE that all MC requirements have been completed and DESE will award the candidate a career certificate.

There is a small fee for each micro-credential to pay assessors and support the management system required for implementing the micro-credential process. However, the overall cost of this alternate path would be much less than the cost of an advanced degree; and you can complete each MC on your own schedule.

Members of MAESP and MOASSP receive a discount on fees for each micro-credential. Please contact either MAESP or MOASSP to receive the discount code and reduce the micro-credential price from $250 (non-member) to $180 (member).

MAESP Executive Director Dr. J Anderson ( or MOASSP Executive Director Mr. Clark Mershon ( can also provide more information.

Click here to view the Missouri Micro-Credential Library. 

Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals
3550 Amazonas Drive
Jefferson City, MO  65109

Phone: 573-638-2460
Fax:  573-556-6270

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software