CETL® Exam and Preparation

For K-12 education technology leaders, earning the CETL®  certification will demonstrate to your staff, superintendent, and other executives that you have mastered the knowledge and skills needed to define the vision for and successfully build 21st-Century learning environments in your education organization.
Have more questions? Visit our FAQ page or contact certification@cosn.org. Review our Infographic.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree plus four years of education technology experience. Education technology experience is defined as demonstrable experience in the three overarching skill areas that are covered on the CETL® exam: Leadership and Vision; Understanding the Educational Environment; and Managing Technology and Support Resources.

Those without a bachelor's degree can apply for a waiver of the education requirement by submitting a request to the Certification Governance Committee. Please see the CETL Eligibility Policy for complete details on the eligibility criteria and the waiver process or contact the Certification Team at certification@cosn.org.

Preparing for the Exam

No two candidates come from the same background, with the same experiences. Each candidate's preparation journey will be their own. For more information on how to prepare, visit our detailed Preparing for the Exam page.

For complete program details and policies for CETL® exams, please download our Candidate Handbook.  

Changes to the CETL® Exam

Beginning with all candidates who take the CETL® exam after March 18, 2020, the Part II essay exam is no longer a requirement to earn certification. All previous eligibility requirements still apply.

Why the Change? In 2018, CoSN completed a Job Analysis to validate the knowledge and tasks related to the work performed by education technology leaders. This resulted in an update to the Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO in December 2019, followed by an update to the CETL® exam in early 2020.

As part of this update, the CETL® Exam Committee completed a full review of the Job Analysis and confirmed that none of the competencies listed would be more reliably tested in an essay format than via a multiple-choice exam—and all competencies listed were in fact tested by the updated multiple-choice exam (formerly “Part I”). As a result, the Exam Committee made a recommendation to the CoSN Certification Governance Committee (CGC) to remove the Part II essay exam as a requirement to earn the CETL® certification. On October 9, 2019, the CGC voted to approve this motion, which took effect with the release of the revised exam in March 2020.