Preparing Principals for Delaware Schools

PPP picThe Delaware Academy for School Leadership was granted approval by the Professional Standards Board, the State Board of Education, and the Department of Education to provide an alternative route to assistant principal/principal certification for Delaware educators.  At this time there are limited pathways to the principalship in Delaware. The University of Delaware Principal Preparation Program (UDEL PPP) fills that void. The program will target teacher leaders who already have a master’s degree, five years of effective teaching, and demonstrated leadership experience in the school or district. Teachers with less than five years of effective teaching will be considered for the program if they will meet the five years of teaching requirement by the end of the program. The program will also target teachers who have a master’s degree in school leadership but decided upon completion of their program that they were not ready to take on the role of assistant principal or principal. This program will provide them an opportunity to gain further preparation and experience while participating in an internship or residency with a mentoring principal and a partnership district. The UDEL PPP will also target current assistant principals who are looking for a comprehensive professional learning experience to help them focus on the skills and knowledge they must demonstrate as the instructional leader of the school.

Best practice research on school leadership development shows that three program features are essential:

  1. Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum: School leadership programs must include a more rigorous and relevant course of study with a heavy emphasis on instructional leadership, human capital management, and student achievement.
  2. Experiential, Problem-Based Pedagogy: Active, problem based learning must be the core pedagogy. Leadership development requires constant focus on “problems of practice” as the curriculum—real school problems that are complex and that involve dimensions of human relations management, school budgets, legal issues, negotiated contracts, curriculum and instruction, and operations management.
  3. Partnership & Field-Based Learning: School leadership programs must partner with school districts and charter schools to recruit and select candidates and furnish sites for field-based learning and internships.

The UDEL PPP curriculum includes:

  1. A summer orientation program
  2. Problems of Practice Coursework
    1. Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment I (18 weeks; equivalent to 6 credit hours and 100 clinical hours)
    2. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment II (18 weeks; equivalent to 6 credit hours and 100 clinical hours)
    3. People, Systems, and Operations (14 weeks; equivalent to 5 credit hours and 100 clinical hours)
    4. Early Childhood Leadership (16 weeks; equivalent to 6 credit hours and 100 clinical hours)
  3. Two internship placements (equivalent to 240 clinical hours) or full-time residency (equivalent to 1500-1800 clinical hours)
  4. Eight seminars addressing key issues in school leadership (equivalent to 3 credit hours)
  5. DPAS Training and Calibration (5 days)
  6. On-Going Professional Development/Coaching Support for one year during first-year as an assistant principal/principal.

Instruction and coaching will be led by outstanding district leaders who have been recognized for their ability to lead and improve schools in collaboration with faculty from the College of Education and Human Development. The 18-month program will be available for students in all three counties using ITV classrooms in Newark and Georgetown. Face-to-face meetings with all students will take place in Dover at times convenient for busy educators.

Applications for the program will be available June 1, 2015. DASL staff will be meeting with district educators to discuss the program in more detail beginning  May 1, 2015. For information about the program please contact Dr. Jackie Wilson at 302-547-0043 or

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