PA Director Credential

School of Education

Colleges / Schools


Program Types

Earn the Pennsylvania Director Credential

Arcadia University offers the Pennsylvania Director Credential, a three-course, graduate-level program that is a requirement of the Keystone STARS program under the Pennsylvania Early Learning Department. The goal of the program is to provide directors and administrators of early child care sites, centers, preschools, and before and after school care programs with the skills and knowledge to organize, lead, and manage high quality education centers based on state mandates, current trends, and research-based practices.

Fully Online Format

Courses are offered as a cohort program in an online format. Instruction and learning take place within a 7-week schedule for each course. New cohorts start every January for those interested in the stand-alone PA Director Credential. Other start dates are available for those who are applying for additional programs. 

Keystone STARS Initiative

Arcadia is an approved director credential institution of higher education and is approved by Keystone STARS, a voluntary quality improvement program, administered by the state Office of Child Development and Early Learning. The program is an initiative to improve, support and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania. This comprehensive professional development system, including career pathways with credentials, is for practitioners in settings including center- and home-based child care, school-age programs, Head Start, early intervention programs, and school-based programs. In order for Early Childhood Programs to reach Keystone STARS Level 3, directors must be credentialed. 

Apply credits earned toward an M.Ed

Credits earned in the PA Director Credential program can be applied in a variety of ways toward a M.Ed. Program options include a concentration in Early Childhood, Educational Leadership or a Modular Master Degree program. Individual advising will guide students who wish to pursue further coursework.