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Wallace Principal Preparation Redesign

NC State University is one of seven programs nationally to be participating in The Wallace Foundation’s five-year, $47 million initiative to help universities improve how they prepare future principals, especially for the nation’s highest-need schools.

The Wallace University Preparation Program Initiative (UPPI) funds the redesign of NC State’s MSA program. The work is rooted in and builds on 15 years of Wallace-supported research and experience about what makes for effective principals and their preparation.

NC State is working with district partners so that the university and districts jointly develop the elements research has identified as essential to effective principal training, including transformative internships and other school-based experiences for aspiring school leaders. NC State’s partner districts include: Wake County Public Schools (the largest school district in the state), Johnston County Schools (7th largest), and a consortium of rural Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA) districts. NELA is an award-winning grant-funded, alternative licensure program for aspiring school leaders from Bertie, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash-Rocky Mount, Northampton, Roanoke Rapids, Vance, Warren, Washington & Weldon City which collectively represent the 4th largest school district of the state and contain large populations of traditionally under-served students.

NC State’s principal program redesign work has the support and active involvement of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, SAS (a data analytics company), Best NC (the leading business coalition in NC), BB&T’s corporate leadership training institute, and the UNC Systems Office, which oversees all university-based principal preparation in the state.

As a part of the UPPI effort, NC State is redesigning our program over the four years of the initiative and included in that work is the introduction of a comprehensive set of strong courses and clinical experiences.

Additionally, district partners and key stakeholders in NC are developing a leadership development dashboard (LDD) with SAS that will be used to accurately evaluate the preparation of aspiring school leaders by tracking their performance as principals. The initiative also provides funding for the state of NC to review its principal preparation program policies to determine whether they promote or hinder sound programming and principal development and consider if changes could encourage the development of effective preparation programs statewide.

Furthermore, the work with Wallace Foundation includes disseminating best practices in leadership development.