Term of Award

Summer 2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Leon Spencer

Committee Member 1

Linda Arthur

Committee Member 2

Anne Marshall


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to understand the value of formal leadership preparation programs as described by novice principals. The study focused on the lived experiences of the eight principals and their reflection of their formal leadership preparation experiences as they transitioned into the role of principal. Through a series of semi-structured interview questions, individual responses revealed leadership preparation experiences were beneficial and highly valued by novice principals. Formal experiences such as internships, mentoring relationships, shadowing experiences and educational leadership coursework were described as building blocks for novice principals. The results of this study state that leaders must know, understand, and do what is needed to impact student achievement. The implications of this study rest in the hands of the numerous stakeholders that stand to gain future leaders who are more than adequately prepared to effectively improve our schools and learning communities.

Research Data and Supplementary Material