Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael L. Cunningham

Second Advisor

Teresa R. Eagle

Third Advisor

Rebecca H. Goodwin


As result of the disparity in the academic literature about principal preparation, this studywas designed to investigate the perceived effectiveness of principal preparation program type foradministrative work. The literature provided four categories for program type includinguniversity-based, district-based, third-party professional development organizations, andpartnership programs. The following facets of educational leadership were examined todetermine if working administrators felt prepared by their preparation program for administrativework: vision, culture, management, collaboration, integrity, and context.

The survey study asked a sample (n=600) of administrators (N=30,230) 93 questions on theSchool Administrator Preparedness Survey. The data were analyzed using ANOVA to determineif differences exist in the means of the variables being studied. One research question produced asignificant finding. Respondents prepared by partnership programs felt more prepared to developand implement a school vision than respondents prepared by university-based programs. Onestatistically significant ancillary finding was also discovered when the demographic variableswere compared to the means of the six educational leadership characteristics. The variables ofmanagement and years of administrative experience were compared for a difference in means.This analysis indicated statistically significant differences in an administrator’s number of yearsexperience and perceived ability to manage the organization. An additional ancillary finding wasthe positive perception of traditionally prepared administrators of their preparation. Much of theacademic literature produced a negative view of traditional university-based preparationprograms. The results of this study contradicted this portion of the literature.