Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell F. West

Committee Members

Elizabeth Ralston, Louise L. MacKay, Terrence A. Tollefson


Although nearly everyone agrees that principals need formal training to prepare for their positions, few agree on what the nature of this training should be. Advanced university education may teach examples of leadership behaviors, but is it likely to transmit the practical knowledge and behaviors that are the hallmarks of successful principals?

This study focused on the 13 critical success factors for school leaders as created by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB, 2002). The purpose of the study was to identify the extent to which these 13 standards have been addressed in formal and informal development training experiences of school principals in Tennessee. Data were collected using an open-ended interview guide while interviewing principals.

The findings from this study suggested that the use of scenarios, cohort groups, experienced staff, and using current research were strategies that universities can use to develop a strong principal training program and support effective teaching of the 13 critical success factors. Two university training limitations became evident during the interview process: (a) lack of some type of internship or hands-on programs and (b) not having experienced instructors. In addition, the study's results led to recommendations that the following critical success factors, although they are currently addressed, should be addressed more effectively. Those factors are time organization, current instructional practices, parent involvement, understanding data, use of resources, obtaining support from central office, and increased use of professional development.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.