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A Top Educational Leadership Preparation Program in U.S.*

*Out of over 774 principal preparation programs nationally, NC State is one of only 6 programs to ever earn the distinction of being named "Exemplary" by UCEA.

Learn about our graduates' impact

How We’re Preparing Exceptional Principals

Click to learn more about how NC State’s College of Education is preparing principals to serve throughout the state of North Carolina.

NELA was one of two Principal Preparation Programs Featured for its Innovative Program in a Recent Publication by the Hunt Institute.

NC State University’s Educational Leadership Academy (NELA) seeks to increase student achievement by preparing and retaining principals in high-poverty, hard-to-staff, and historically low-performing schools. NELA creates a comprehensive leadership development and succession plan for NC high-need school districts. Each component is anchored in research-based best practices in leadership preparation and is designed to meet the specific contextualized needs of schools in North Carolina.

90% of schools with a NELA graduate serving as principal met or exceeded growth for the 2018 – 2019 school year vs. only 75% of principals across all schools in the state reaching the same level of performance.