The extant literature highlights the impact principals have on daily operations, visioning, school climate, academic programming, instructional monitoring, and numerous other areas. The need for well-trained principals at the helm of schools, particularly those with large concentrations of at-risk students, has been identified as a critically important factor in improving academic outcomes. Underdeveloped leaders often struggle to improve schools and are unable to show adequate progress among the students they serve. They are also more prone to early burnout, increasing turnover rates. As such, the need to strengthen principal preparation programs has become even more evident in recent years. A number of states, including North Carolina, are exploring ways to encourage principal preparation providers to adopt leadership development approaches that are more responsive to evidenced-based research about effective school leadership. This article focuses on university-school partnerships as an emerging strategy for providing aspiring principals with a more authentic preparation experience.


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