Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Brian Christenson


Researchers in educational leadership have identified a need to improve principal preparation programs to meet today's educational demands. According to school administrators in the local area, not all leadership preparation programs used the same pedagogies to prepare future leaders, and principals were critical of existing leadership practices. School districts, students, parents, and community stakeholders would benefit from well-prepared administrators who can apply the most effective habits of principalship. The conceptual framework of the study was derived from J. Davis and Jazzar's 7 habits of an effective principal preparation program. For this qualitative case study, 16 principals were interviewed to find out which components of a principal preparation program they thought were the most important or had best prepared them for their positions. Analysis involved open coding, and resulting themes revealed that principals perceived the most important components to be a multisituational internship and extensive experience with school budget/finance. A professional development session was created to share interview responses with policymakers. Principal preparation programs that involve an in-depth internship and practice with school budget and finance could be used to assist policy makers in developing leadership training programs for future principals to improve student and school performance for school districts. This project study could foster social change with greater school success for students, resulting from improvement in leadership preparation programs.