Department of Principal Quality

Mission: Identify, develop, support, and retain strong principal leaders who are dedicated to student success in CPS.

Vision: Every Chicago Public School has a strong leader providing opportunities for all students to achieve their fullest potential.

Chicago Leadership Collaborative Image

Principal Eligibility Assessment Process

The next application period opens Monday, April 6, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and closes Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

The CPS Principal Eligibility (Eligibility) process is a required step to becoming a CPS principal. Aspiring principals must pass the Eligibility process before they can be selected for a contract, interim, or acting principal position. This applies to all candidates, internal and external, and ensures that schools have the most qualified principal candidates prepared to succeed from the first day on the job.

The Eligibility process asks current and aspiring principals to demonstrate evidence of leadership experience related to the CPS Principal Competencies that have resulted in positive school-wide student outcomes across multiple grade levels and subject areas.

For more information about the Eligibility process, explore our overview resource outlining detailed, step-by-step instructions and frequently asked questions.

Eligibility Process Overview image



The Eligibility process includes both an online (step 1) and an in-person (step 2) component, which CPS hosts three times per year. You will receive instructions regarding the fingerprinting process after you have submitted an application.

Upcoming application periods:

  • Monday, April 6, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. to Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Preview the application

Apply for Eligibility

Candidates will begin at step 1 of Eligibility process if they:

  • are applying for the first time since November 2015
  • were unsuccessful in their last step 1 attempt
  • are reattempting the Eligibility process after a 12-month waiting period

Candidates that have applied for Eligibility within the last 12 months and were successful during step 1 but unsuccessful with step 2, will begin at step 2.

Note: All candidates, including current employees, must complete fingerprinting within three business days after the close of the application period. All necessary fingerprinting documents are provided in the application confirmation email.

Information Sessions

Information sessions are an opportunity to receive extra support and important information related to the Eligibility process. These two-hour sessions include an overview of the Eligibility process and individual and small group exercises designed to help candidates prepare for the Eligibility assessment.

Prior to attending an information session, aspiring principals are asked to review an informational PowerPoint covering the logistics of the process, and should also come prepared to talk about their own leadership experiences and engage in small group discussions.

To RSVP, sign up for an information session on Learning Hub if you are a CPS employee or email if you are an external candidate.


Upcoming information session dates

Date Time Learning Hub Class Code Learning Hub Course Code Location
Monday, February 24, 2020
4:00 - 6:00 PM
Lake View HS
4015 N Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
Monday, March 9, 2020
4:00 - 6:00 PM
Gillespie ES
9301 S State St, Chicago, IL
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
4:30 - 6:30 PM
Garfield Park Office
2651 W. Washington St,
Chicago, IL 60612

Contact Us

Department of Principal Quality
42 West Madison, Chicago, IL 60602
(773) 553-1515

Page Last Modified on Wednesday, April 08, 2020