Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

John Kellmayer

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Simone Elias

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Leah Wickersham-Fish


The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to examine the perceptions of new K-12 assistant principals in suburban North Texas school districts related to their level of preparation upon obtaining their first assistant principal positions. A purposive sample of 16 new assistant principals participated in semistructured interviews and a focus group. The interviews and the focus group conversation were recorded and transcribed. In vivo coding and structural coding were used to analyze the data. The findings of the study confirmed that the participants of the study overwhelmingly believed that their principal preparation programs did not adequately prepare them for the assistant principalship. However, despite their belief in the inadequacy of their preparation programs, the majority of the participants believed that they could be successful in their roles as assistant principals. Confidence in their ability to succeed was attributed to previous job experiences, encouragement from peers and mentors, and vicarious experiences. Participants indicated that they were most prepared for the responsibilities associated with instructional leadership, whereas they were least prepared for managing their time and the amount of work they were exposed to on a daily basis. Principal preparation programs and local school districts play important roles in the preparation of aspiring assistant principals, and the results of this study could be used to influence preparation processes in both of those settings.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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