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CoLA - Getting Started
Cohort of Leadership Associates (CoLA) Logo
  • Admission Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s* or Master’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    • Valid Texas teaching certificate with a minimum of 2 years teaching experience
    • Two years of leadership experience
    • Letter of recommendation from current supervisor
    • Three professional references
    • Passing score on screening interview (internal process)


    *A Master’s degree must be conferred prior to being recommended for a Texas Standard Principal as Instructional Leader Certificate.


    Program Fees:

    • Application fee $50 (non-refundable)
    • CoLA Program cost $7,725


    For University of Incarnate Word Partnership fee information, please refer to the University of the Incarnate Word Partnership tab.

    Additional fees not included in the total program cost:

    • TExES Exam (268) - registration fees paid directly to Pearson.
    • Performance Assessment for School Leaders- PASL (368) - registration fees paid directly to ETS.
    • SBEC Certification applications - fees paid directly to TEA/SBEC.
    • Extension of program timeline - additional fees paid directly to the CoLA program.


    Note: Payment options are available. CAL loans accepted. Discount offered to TOPP graduates. Fees are subject to change and reflect information available at the time of posting.

  • Individuals interested in pursuing their principal certification goals through the Cohort of Leadership Associates alternative certification program are highly encouraged to attend a CoLA Information Session to familiarize themselves with program components.


    Starting the Application

    CoLA Online Application


    When asked to create an account, use the following:

    Username: Your last name (case sensitive)
    Password: Social Security Number

    Applicants will be asked to indicate their intended track:

    • Certification only, Certification with Masters, or Certification with PhD
    • "Cohort number and program start- for example, Cohort 23 January, Cohort 23 June, Cohort 24 September, or Cohort 24 January"


    Required documents/information

    • Valid Texas Educator Certificate
    • Service Record (Contact your district Human Resources office)
    • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended (Copies will not be accepted.)
    • Current resume
    • Letter of Recommendation from current campus principal
    • Contact information for three professional references (not including current campus principal)


    Secure electronic versions of transcripts or “e-scripts” may be sent to:  Official transcripts may be mailed to:

                        Education Service Center - Region 20
                        Attn: CoLA Staff
                        1314 Hines Avenue
                        San Antonio, TX 78208


    Screening Instrument

    Applicants will receive a screening interview questionnaire via email upon initiating an online application.  This instrument will be used to determine applicant readiness prior to entering the program.  Phone conferences will follow to complete the scoring process.  Please scan and email completed questionnaires to


    Application Fee

    A $50 application fee will be assessed prior to processing any application. 

    Credit card (Visa or MasterCard only) payments may be processed within the online application “pay fee” tab or over the phone by calling Maggie Schmidt at 210-370-5489.


    Application Deadlines

    Cohort  Application Deadline Orientation Date
    Cohort 23 January Start December 6, 2019 January 11, 2020
    Cohort 23 June Start May 1, 2020 June 13, 2020
    Cohort 24 September Start August 7, 2020 September 12, 2020
    Cohort 24 January Start December 4, 2020 January 9, 2021


    All application components must be submitted prior to the application deadline to be processed for any given cohort start. Incomplete applications will be considered for the following cohort start. 

    We look forward to assisting you on your school leadership pathway!

    If you have reason to believe that you may be ineligible for educator certification due to a conviction or deferred adjudication for a felony or misdemeanor offense, it is advised that you request a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation. For more information or to request a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation, visit the Texas Education Agency Website.


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