This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Lessons Learned About the Implementation and Sustainability of the Redesigned Principal Preparation Programs in Alabama




Tatum, Karen M.

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


In the fall of 2005, the state of Alabama embarked upon a multi-system reform of its leadership standards, principal preparation program requirements, professional development standards, and professional practice evaluation system through the Governor’s Congress on School Leadership. The work of this group was intended to open an avenue for collaboration and communication from a cross-section of stakeholders to design systemic change (Alabama State Department of Education, 2005; Cox, 2009). Their work resulted in recommendations for the revision of: (1) standards for instructional leadership, (2) leadership curriculum, (3) internship experiences, (4) certification, (5) evaluation, and (6) professional development programs. Eventually, thirteen colleges and universities in the state of Alabama redesigned their principal preparation programs to align with the state’s new criteria for instructional leadership. Three of these universities piloted the redesign process for the state. This study looked at part of Alabama’s systemic redesign of principal preparation programs including: (1) challenges encountered and support received, (2) lessons learned, and (3) strategies employed for sustainability. The findings presented were derived from survey results, transcribed interviews, and content analysis of redesign documents generated from the state and the three pilot sites. The presentation ends with recommendations to support sustainable reform of redesigned principal preparation programs. This dissertation uses the alternative format. The introduction, literature review, and methods are presented in Chapters 1, 2, and 3. The next three chapters are in manuscript format. The first manuscript examines and compares the factors that facilitate or hinder the redesign between the 3 pilot redesign universities and the 10 remaining redesign universities. The second manuscript discusses perceptions of stakeholders about the implementation and sustainability of the redesign; and, the third manuscript examines lessons learned about the redesign. Chapter 7 provides summarizes important findings of the study.