Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Delores E. McNair

First Committee Member

Laura Hallberg

Second Committee Member

Maureen Harrington


Women continue to be in the minority in school administration in public schools in the United States, although the majority of teachers are female. The role of assistant principal is the gateway to school administration. The purpose of this study was to describe the essence of the transition from teaching to school administration, the role of a female assistant principal, and the career aspirations of female assistant principals. This study used a phenomenological approach to understand the essence of the transition for the participants. Six women were interviewed using a semi-structured interview protocol to collect data on their experiences transitioning to the role of assistant principal. Using the process of horizonalization, the data were transcribed and analyzed using statements and quotes from the interviews to develop themes common to all participants. Findings revealed that these women continually seek to better themselves, others, and their organizations. They experienced a significant sense of loss as they transitioned to their new role. Lastly, the supports needed by women as they continue in their career as school administrators were uncovered.