Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Steve Laws


The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain insight from current principals regarding principal preparatory experiences and to reveal which assistant principal experiences contributed to principal readiness. Through this study, 17 current secondary principals in an urban school district completed a 21-item survey using a 5-point Likert scale; 10 principals also participated in a follow-up interview. The survey instrument was constructed based on practices within seven primary standards of the North Carolina Standards for School Executives. The content validation index was utilized to measure the validity of the survey tool. The theoretical framework chosen to explore these relationships was the Contingency Theory of Leadership, developed by Fred Fiedler. The segment of the contingency theory that was explored to support this study was the situational leadership model, introduced by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. In the Situational Leadership Model, learners are divided into four categories. The ultimate goal is to reach Readiness Level 4, where the learner has optimized learning experiences, has been delegated responsibilities, and is able to lead with little monitoring or support. Nine themes emerged from surveying and interviewing participants about their experiences as assistant principals. Two themes focused on the need for networking and professional development, four highlighted the need for assistant principals to have opportunities to facilitate school-level initiatives, and three stressed the fact that North Carolina standards accurately address the tasks that assistant principals should experience.

Creative Commons License

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