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Abstract

Preparing junior administrators to step into the role of school principal is a challenge many urban school districts face. Typically a large school district will leverage an existing pool of experienced assistant principals and vice principals to fill principal positions. At a minimum this ensures the candidates are familiar with internal structures, district culture, policies and procedures, and the community which the school district serves. However, unless addressed in a strategic manner, the assistant and vice principal role lacks many of the critical components which are required of the principal position. While the majority of these individuals will have completed a university-based principal preparation program, obtained state certification to serve in the role of principal, and often times have served as an assistant or vice principal for a number of years, there is still often a wide gap between their current job duties and what will be expected of them as principals. Thus, there is a need for additional training to prepare these individuals to successfully transition into the role of urban school principals. To this end, this article examines a principal transition program which was created as a collaboration between a regional education service center, school districts, and university partners to prepare assistant and vice principals for the principal position.

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