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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Rita King

Second Committee Member

Rachelle Hackett

Third Committee Member

Kathleen Boomer

Fourth Committee Member

Mari Irvin


The purpose of this descriptive study was to identify the critical skills necessary to develop in new principals as perceived by both new principals and the central office administrators responsible for their development and support. The study also examined the extent and variety of the support offered to new principals and attempted to ascertain the type of support considered most valuable from the perspectives of both new principals and central office administrators. A focused interview protocol and the administration of the Beginning Principals' Critical Skills Survey were conducted with each of the 23 new principals and the 11 central office administrators representing 11 school districts in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. The new principals had completed one full year in the principalship as of June 1995. The 23 new principals were surveyed at the beginning of their second year in the principalship and again midway through the year. One hundred percent of the surveys administered were returned. Both groups of respondents reported many critical skills necessary for new principal success with agreement on the top four out of five skills mentioned. Budgeting was the critical skill identified often by new principals that was not mentioned by central office administrators. The induction practices most valued by both sets of participants were collegial support groups, pairing (mentoring) with a veteran principal from within the district, and peer group problem solving and idea sharing. The survey responses of the new principals midway through the school year did not change significantly, though technical skills, such as budgeting and scheduling, generally received a higher rating of importance in the second administration of the survey. Recommendations for new principal support include: (1) the commitment of school district resources to the socialization and induction of new principals, (2) the development of district support programs that incorporate collegial group meetings and mentoring, (3) the utilization of a network of support resources from various agencies, such as university, school district, professional association, research laboratory, etc., to structure a comprehensive mentoring program for new principals, and (4) the development of multi-year professional growth plans.




9780591261974 , 0591261979

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