$2.5 Million for Principal Preparation

FLDOE funds College of Education job-embedded program in four school districts.


By Kim Tucker

Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 10, 2012) The Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies (DELPS) at the University of South Florida (USF) – will partner with Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk County School Districts – for a 25-month, collaborative, job-embedded principal preparation program that will prepare 100 individuals to acquire Level I/Level II certification. Currently, these dual certifications require 48 months of preparation. The nearly $2.5 million program will be funded by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) through June, 2014. They are one of two grants funded by the FLDOE.


The program curriculum utilizes problem-based learning strategies that “engage students in learning knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks” (Buck Institute, 2011). Uniquely, the DELPS accelerated program requires both a one-year full-time internship, and a nine-month assistant principal residency, co-managed by high-performing Gulf Coast administrators from high-need schools.


The primary goal for the USF/GCP collaborative job-embedded principal preparation program is to prepare high performing leaders for high need schools who will increase administrator, teacher, and staff effectiveness while raising academic achievement for all students. This program also strives to improve school leadership preparation by developing a single, accelerated, streamlined, and high quality intensive program that becomes the model for Level I/Level II school leadership certification in Florida.


Locally determined district and school needs generate personalized workload assignments for each candidate throughout their internship and residency. Jointly, USF and district mentor faculty will monitor up to 40 new candidates and 60 current assistant principal candidates for total of 100 over the course of 30 months.


“The USF/GCP aims to prepare future leaders capable of making systemic school reforms that will develop and sustain improvements in student achievement,” said Leonard Burrello, professor and a principal investigator of the grant. Burrello added, “We all hope the program will be an innovative and collaborative leadership preparation model for the State. Clearly our partner districts and our faculty are excited and anxious about the possibilities and the work required to make it all happen in 30 months.”


Kim Tucker can be reached at (813) 974-7440.