Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015 (PSEL)


In February 2005, Maryland responded, in advance of the nation, to the priority need for an increased focus on instructional leadership by developing and adopting the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework. In 2008, the nation followed Maryland’s lead in producing the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards. Since that time, ISLLC standards have been used extensively as a means for validating principal preparation and licensure.

In February 2017, the Maryland State Board of Education adopted the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. These standards replaced the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework.  The Professional Standards for Educational Leaders maintains the priority of instructional leadership while elevating the attention to the overall success and well-being of each student. The state is in the process of transitioning from the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework to the new standards which will guide administrator preparation programs and professional learning experiences.


The Professional Standards for Educational Leaders contain ten standards that focus on mission, vision, and core values; ethics and professional norms; equity and cultural responsiveness; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; community of care and support for students; professional capacity of school personnel; professional community for teachers and staff; engagement of families and communities; operations and management; and school improvement. The Maryland State Department of Education provides leadership, guidance, and technical assistance to school systems and institutions of higher education in the implementation of the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015 (PSEL).

HOW are PSEL Implemented?

Assistant Principal:
Becoming an assistant principal in Maryland requires a master’s degree, along with completion of an approved administrator certification program or 18 hours of graduate work in assessment, curriculum, development of staff, legal issues, management & leadership, and a practical experience. Approved programs at institutions of higher education must include the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. After completion of requirements, candidate may earn an Administration I endorsement on their certification.

After earning an Administrator I endorsement, candidates must earn qualifying scores on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment to earn an Administrator II endorsement on their professional certificate, which qualifies them to be a principal.

Code of Maryland Regulation: 13A.12.04.04

Educator Certification

Crosswalk to the Interstate Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC)

Crosswalk to the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework (MDILF)

Frequently Asked Questions for PSELs

May 2017:
Professional Learning for Executive Officers
Executive Officers Meeting
May 18, 2017

Professional Learning resources for PSEL:
October 2016:
Professional Learning for Principals

Professional Development for Principals - October 2016 Agenda

Analysis and Feedback: PSEL Compared to the MDILF and ISLLC

Principals' Assignment - Principals Convening Follow-Up Using the PSELs