Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stacey Wilson-Norman


Due to several factors, including salary and increased demands, there is a shortage of qualified leaders to assume the principal role. Although there is a shortage, there is also a bench of credentialed leaders in assistant principals. The problem is identifying how school districts and principals build the capacity of and prepare their assistant principals for the principal role. This study explored how novice principals perceived how their experiences as assistant principals prepared them for the principalship and the perceived role of current principals in preparing their assistant principals for the principalship. An explanatory mixed methods approach was utilized. Novice principals with 3 or fewer years of principal experience within a large urban school district were sent a survey for the first phase of the research and invited to a focus group for the second phase of the research. The survey data was analyzed using descriptive analysis, and the focus group information was coded for themes. The findings of this study made it clear that novice principals believe that in order to prepare assistant principals for the principal role, principals need to expose their assistant principals to all facets of principal leadership, and there must be a positive, trusting relationship between the principal and assistant principal. Specifically, assistant principals need more exposure to budget management and could benefit from professional development in instructional leadership skills.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License