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Johnston Principal Leadership Academy

With generous support from the North Carolina General Assembly through the Transforming Principal Preparation (TPP) Program (Section 11.9 of Section Law 2015-241e) students in the Johnston Principal Leadership Academy (JPLA) received a full fellowship for a Master’s of School Administration degree from NC State University. The two-year program included a paid 10-month principal residency (internship), corporate leadership training from BB&T, funding for books, travel for learning rounds/site visits to exemplary schools and professional conferences, a summer stipend, a principal mentor and an executive coach to provide support during the residency and for early-career induction.

The North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD) served as the administrator for the Transforming Principal Preparation (TPP) Program and reported to the NC State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA), the legislatively designated Authority for the TPP grant program.

The Johnston Principal Leadership Academy is a principal preparation program at NC State. The program trains aspiring school leaders to serve specifically in Johnston County Public Schools.

35,003 students attend public schools in Johnston County. 48% of students in the school district receive free or reduced lunch. 13.7% of students are involved in special programs, including individualized education plans (IEP), Section 504 plans, homebound services, and others. Johnston County Public Schools (JCPS) has had partnerships with NCSU to offer MSA cohorts for over 10 years. The 2014 cohort participated in a Candidate Assessment Day with representatives from the university.Based on their success, JCPS modified their current principal interview process (February 2016) to model the assessment day. In addition to a typical interview, JCPS also utilizes scenarios, role-playing, writing activities, and personality assessments to provide a wealth of data in assisting our superintendent in hiring and appropriately placing principals. JPLA will strengthen the existing partnership between NCSU and JCPS. Several senior JCPS officials teach in the NELA program. They are eager to enhance NCSU’s JCPS partnership and bring an exceptional MSA program to JCPS. To learn more about JCS, visit

Our most recent cohort of JPLA Fellows began their courses in May 2018 and graduated May 2020! To learn more about the JPLA Fellows, visit the Fellows Page.