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Tennessee Academy for School Leaders (TASL)

An essential priority of the Tennessee Department of Education is ensuring that all schools in Tennessee have effective teachers and leaders who receive the feedback and support needed to continually improve student outcomes. Tennessee is transforming what it means to be an effective leader at all phases of a leader’s career by setting high standards for effective leadership based on research and best practice, supporting leaders to reach those standards, and empowering districts to build a network of exceptional instructional leaders who get results.

Who Must Earn

Administrators are required to earn TASL credits if they spend 50% or more of their time in direct delivery of instructional services to the following:  teachers, principals, and/or other educators in administrative or supervisory positions. Directors of Schools may request a new position receive TASL mandated status if that position meets the guidelines for TASL mandated status.  The TASL Office may request documentation to support approval of such a request.

Upon successful completion of a TASL academy, a leader will understand how to use multiple data sources to develop an integrated, self-reflective culture of learning and growth, supported by a clear mission/vision, that integrates shared instructional leadership at all levels.

TASL Induction Academy

  • Who: Principals and assistant principals with three years or fewer experience in any leadership role
  • What: Cohort-based academies that provide learning, support, and networking with the end result of administrator license advancement
  • Where: Face-to-face meetings in each CORE region
  • When: Academies begin in the second semester of the school year and are completed in the second semester of the following school year
  • Why: To support instructional leadership development for new administrators
  • Requirements: Attend all face-to-face meetings (3-5), complete bridge work and/or participate in virtual meetings between in person meetings, design and implement an individualized Problem of Practice (POP) that supports goals related to the TEAM administrator rubric
  • Cost: Academies are offered at no cost; however, participants are responsible for any travel expenses incurred

To be eligible to advance via the TASL Academy, a participant must:

  1. Hold a beginner instructional leadership license (ILL-B)
  2. Be currently serving in his or her first three years of instructional leadership
  3. Participate in all scheduled face to face and virtual meetings. There will be no alternate dates for any face to face meetings. Participant input will be taken into account as dates are scheduled.

The admission process to the TASL Academy is as follows:

  • TEAM coaches, with the support of directors of schools, will identify eligible applicants, confirm participant license status, and verify participant years of experience.
  • TEAM coaches will reach out to eligible applicants, confirm enrollment, and gather pertinent enrollment information.
  • Accepted applicants will be notified of meeting logistics prior to academy start date.

Please note each academy has a maximum capacity of 40 participants. 

Instructional Supervisors Academy

One beginning supervisor academy is held (at minimum) every other year in the central grand division, based on demand. Eligibility requirements are standard for each academy. If any instructional supervisors in the district are academy-eligible, TEAM coaches will gather enrollment information and submit that to director of leader effectiveness, Martha Moore, who will then reach out to those supervisors with information on the potential cohort.

If an instructional leader holding an ILL-B is ineligible for an induction academy or chooses against joining an academy, he/she may choose to advance via the University Partner Path (UPP), a two-year, independent study program that requires a partnership among the candidate’s school district, the local approved university, and the candidate for advancement. Approved universities are those with educational leadership programs endorsed by the department. It is important to understand that this path is not a class, nor can it be completed in fewer than two years.

The University Partner Path process is as follows:

  1. The candidate must contact the university partner and ask to be assigned a mentor from the leadership program. This mentor guides the development, implementation, and reflection of a candidate’s unique learning needs through the utilization of the professional learning plan (PLP). This is not a review of past learning, but an intentional plan focused on current and future school change. The mentor is required to verify the various stages of the process via signature as indicated on the PLP template. The designated UPP PLP is available from
  2. The candidate must obtain confirmation of two years of successful evaluation by the Tennessee Instructional Leadership Standards (TILS) from the district. These evaluations must occur during the implementation of the PLP. They cannot be from previous years. This confirmation is documented by obtaining the appropriate signatures via the license application process.
  3. While in a TASL mandated position, the candidate must keep his/her TASL hours current for the validity period of the license.
  4. Once the two year period is complete, the candidate must submit the PLP and the request for advancement via the online process through TNCompass.

While this path is approved for all administrators desiring to advance an administrative license, the University Partner Path is the only pathway approved for administrators with more than three years of experience in any administrative role. For more information, contact the TASL office at