You are here

Digital Instructional Leadership Licensure, Credential Options, and Micro-credentials

DPI Digital Leadership Contact


For all information about Digital Leadership licensing, credentialing, district hiring options, and professional learning contact Janice Mertes, Assistant Director Teaching and Learning - Digital Learning, at or (608) 267-1054.

For a list of current Wisconsin Certified Educational Technology Leaders, please check the CoSN CETL Directory page.   Check out the Wisconsin Education Technology Leaders (WETL) Certification page for information about yearly cohort and funding opportunities.


DPI #92 Instructional Technology Coordinator License Option Sunset 


Background and Decision to Eliminate the 92 Instructional Coordinator License

Upon the recommendation of the State Superintendent, DPI retired the Instructional Coordinator License (95/5092) in the fall of 2017 for anyone who is seeking the 92 as a new or add-on certification. The rules process by moving the 92 license to the category of “obsolete” so it will no longer be offered by Institutions of Higher Education as a license option. The decision to retire the 92 Instructional Coordinator License (which is an administrative degree) was based on attrition in higher education program enrollment and completion data as well as acknowledging the need to allow for great flexibility for local districts to hire for district-level technology positions in either technical or instructional roles. Districts are given the flexibility to determine staffing needs based on enterprise credentialing for technology roles as well as educational administrative positions. Official updates about the 92 Instructional Coordinator License will be posted to the DPI Teacher Educator, Professional Development, and Licensing (TEPDL) team website later this fall upon completion of the rules process. 

What if I currently hold a 92 Instructional Coordinator License?

If you currently hold a 92 Instructional Coordinator License, your license is still active and will remain on file for you as long as you stay licensed. If you currently hold the 92 license you are still considered to hold an administrator license with ability to supervise DPI licensed staff.  Information about the life license conversion process is available on the TEPDL website. The certification process for supervising staff under the Educator Effectiveness program is completely different from the 92 licensing topics and managed by your local district.

Licensing and Supervision of Staff

  • A district individual without the 92 Instructional Coordinator License (or any current administrative license) or with technology enterprise credentials can supervise only non-licensed staff (library aides, technology department staff, office level employees or contractors).
  • A district individual who holds any DPI approved administrator (including the 92 license) can supervise DPI licensed- certified staff (librarians, educators, technology integrators, other administrative staff) in addition to any non-licensed staff.  
  • Districts determine the process and requirements for the Educator Effectiveness system around the supervision of staff members.
  • DPI currently offers no licensing for district technology integrators as local districts can align skill sets and needs to their local programming. In addition to eliminating the 92 Instructional Technology Coordinator License, the State Superintendent also recommended changes for the library media specialist licensure detailed on the DPI TEPDL website.

CoSN Certified Education Technology Leaders (CETL®) Certification (this does not result in any DPI License)


DPI Support for the CoSN CETL® Certification Exam to Build Digital Leadership Capacity and Support Local District Leadership Teams

The DPI Digital Learningteam provides support to our state CoSN affiliate chapter, the Wisconsin Education Technology Leaders (WETL), to offer statewide exam certification cohort groups twice a year - fall (test at the SLATE conference in the Wisconsin Dells) and spring (test at the WISCNet conference in Madison). WETL is a key strategic partner for DPI to support the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan priority goals of building the capacity of digital leaders through high-quality professional learning opportunities and professional communities of practice.

The Digital Learning team provides our WETL chapter with Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan resources, financial support for candidate materials and promotion of the CETL® as a credentialing option to enhance the digital leadership skills of leaders to help with assist districts as they are structuring and hiring technical staff.

DPI encourages local districts to consider how this credential can be recognized when hiring technology leaders with either enterprise certifications or licensed administrators who add on the CETL certification who may be fulfilling technology leadership roles. Local districts have discretion on how to hire technology staff and administrators to meet the needs of their local technical and leadership teams. The CETL® can also be utilized as a district leadership professional learning opportunity to help build capacity to support strong district collaborative leadership teams.  The successful completion of this process in Wisconsin does not result in any official university credential or a DPI issued license.

What is the CoSN Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL®)

The CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) national association provides an industry-recognized certification process called the Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL®).  According to the CoSN CETL®) certification page and one-page overview brief education technology leaders, earning the CETL® certification will demonstrate to your staff, superintendent, and other stakeholders that you have mastered the knowledge and skills needed to define the vision for and successfully build 21st-century learning environments in your school district. The cohort of state leaders engages in conversations about best practices, emerging technology topics, and high-quality planning processes to leverage with district collaborative leadership teams. The rigorous CETL® certification process includes a multiple choice test based on professional reading to determine competency to complete the process with a submitted portfolio of essay responses.

Eligibility for the CoSN CETL® Certification Exam

According to the CoSN website, eligibility Requirements to sit for the CETL® exam, candidates must have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree plus four years of education technology experience or leadership experiences inclusive of technology programming. Individuals do not need to be an official CoSN member to take the exam or hold the CETL certification. The successful completion of this process in Wisconsin does not result in any official university credential or a DPI issued license. Education technology experience is defined as demonstrable experience in the three overarching skill areas of the Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO:

  • Leadership and Vision
  • Understanding the Educational Environment
  • Managing Technology and Support Resources

The Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO for the CETL® Certification Exam (download the framework) stated on the CoSN webpage

  • Leadership and Vision - Work closely with the executive team and stakeholders to develop a shared vision with long-term, big-picture perspectives on district goals to plan for meaningful and effective uses of technology; provide leadership when creating a vision of how technology will help meet district goals.
  • Strategic Planning - Have a high-level view of the school system and work with instructional and technical teams to identify steps needed to transform the technology vision into a long-range plan, complete with specific goals, objectives, and action plans.
  • Instructional Focus and Professional Development -Budget, plan, and coordinate ongoing, purposeful professional development for all staff using technologies; ensure a sufficient budget through the implementation and assessment process of emerging technologies.
  • Ethics and Policies -Manage the creation, implementation, and enforcement of policies and educational programs relating to the social, legal, and ethical issues related to technology use throughout the district and modeling responsible decision-making.
  • Team Building and Staffing - Play an integral role in the district’s strategic planning process; create and support cross-functional teams for decision-making, technology support, professional development, and other aspects of the district’s technology program.
  • Stakeholder Focus - Build relationships with all stakeholders, taking a close look at how the district determines requirements, expectations, and preferences. Understand the key factors that lead to stakeholder satisfaction, focusing on how the district seeks knowledge, satisfaction, and loyalty of students and other stakeholders.
  • Information Technology Management - Direct, coordinate, and ensure implementation of all tasks related to technical, infrastructure, standards, and integration of technology into every facet of district operations.
  • Communication Systems Management - Use technology to improve communication, directing and coordinating the use of e-mail, district websites, web tools, voice mail systems, and other forms of communication to facilitate decision-making and to enhance effective communication with key stakeholders.
  • Business Management - Manage the budget and serve as a strong business leader who guides purchasing decisions, determines the return on investment for all technology implementations, and fosters good relationships with vendors, potential funders, and other key groups.
  • Data Management - Manage the establishment and maintenance of systems and tools for gathering, mining, integrating, and reporting data in usable and meaningful ways to produce an information culture in which data management is critical to strategic planning.

How can Local Districts Support CETL® Leaders in the Certification Process and District Compensation Models?

Local districts are encouraged to consider the CoSN-WETL membership (district membership) and participation of leaders as an essential community of practice to build capacity in digital leadership.  Additionally, districts can help assist leaders in payment of testing fees (reimbursed by Wisconsin partners after successful completion) and time for leaders to prepare for the certification exam and write the portfolio responses.  Additionally, districts may consider additional compensation in recognizing this national credential as a professional advancement versus a university course or advanced degree. Individuals may use this process as part of their PDP submission as evidence of professional learning and collaboration.  Districts are highly encouraged to leverage the CoSN resources and state professional learning activities for their leadership teams.

Wisconsin Certified CETL® Leaders

Wisconsin currently has 34 certified CETLs according to the CoSN directory.  DPI agrees with the CoSN presentation of the value of the  CETL® certification as on ongoing skill and development process as certified CETLS are required to continue their active participation in state activities and learning for recertification to help others.

Micro-credentials for Digital Leadership and Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan Learning Priorities 


DPI Instructional Media and Technology/Digital Learning Team Support for Micro-credentials

The DPI Digital Learning Team supports another option for an individual to grow and expand their knowledge in digital leadership is to complete "micro-credentials" which is typically associated with "badges" for certified skills.  This emerging context offers local districts to leverage industry certification badges, educational technology partner badges, and other providers process to prove competencies in skills.

What are Micro-credentials?

Micro-credentials are a professional learning opportunity for participants to focus on targeted skill and learning priorities. Currently, the DPI Digital Learning team supports the work of our national and state partners who are partnering with Digital Promise to support this option for local leaders to enhance their knowledge and skills. Current micro-credentials offered on the Digital Bloomberg Platform around a wide variety of topics to enable adult competency-based learning opportunities. Multiple courses are arranged in "stacks" to create a sequence of learning skills.

Benefits of Micro-Credentials

The DPI Digital Learning team values high quality and personalized professional learning as detailed in the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan Gear 4. According to our strategic partner Future Ready Schools® (FRS), micro-credentials offer districts opportunities to model personalized learning in support of teachers’ professional growth, micro-credentials offer a cost-effective way to provide flexible, interest-driven, shareable, and competency-based activities for teachers to “show what they know.” Districts and states are using micro-credentials as one part of their professional learning policies to ensure educators and administrators have an opportunity to explore interests, gain expertise, and network with like-minded professionals as a critical component of their recertification credits.

CoSN Micro-Credentials

CoSN, in partnership with Digital Promise, has developed one of the first set of micro-credentials for school system technology leaders. Targeting new and emerging leaders, micro-credentials provide a professional advancement opportunity that is flexible, personalized, and skill-based. CoSN has developed 10 micro-credentials related to two timely topics geared toward leaders supporting today’s tech-integrated classrooms: Digital Equity and Student Data Privacy. These micro-credentials can be used for a resume, CV and district level recognized training to enhance the skill levels of district technology leaders.

Institute for Personalized Learning (IPL), a division of CESA 1, Micro-credentials

The Institute for Personalized Learning has partnered with Digital Promise to create proficiency-based micro-credentials that will allow educators and leaders to earn badges for a variety of personalized learning practices and skills.

Future Ready Schools® (FRS) -credentials aligned to the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan collaborative leadership elements

According to the Future Ready Schools® (FRS), these eight micro credentials are targeted credentials to support district leaders and leadership teams to use the FRS planning tools (interactive dashboard) to show mastery in developing an implementation plan to deploy personalized learning strategies across a school system—public, private, or charter.