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Career Pathways to School Leadership

Title: Career Pathways to School Leadership: A Case of Florida State University Educational Leadership Program Completers.
Name(s): Sampson, Erin M., author
Akiba, Motoko, professor directing dissertation
Ke, Fengfeng, university representative
Preston, Courtney, committee member
Rutledge, Stacey A., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (104 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Despite the critical role of school leaders in supporting teachers and improving student learning and the importance of ensuring qualified candidates to enter school leadership positions, perceptions and experiences of related to the career pathways of leadership preparation program completers into leadership are not yet fully understood. This mixed-methods study conducted a survey of 36 graduates and interviews of 9 graduates who graduated from the Florida State University's Educational Leadership and Administration (EDA) master's, specialist, and modified certificate programs between fall 2012 and summer 2018 to examine their career decision and experience with seeking and securing an assistant principal (AP) position. The study identified three career pathways—pathway 1: the graduates who have never applied for an AP position (17 or 47%), pathway 2: the graduates who have applied and secured an AP position (11 or 31%), and pathway 3: the graduates who have applied but not secured an AP position (8 or 22%). The main reasons for not applying for an AP position included: 1) Less time at home with family members (2.0); 2) Difficulty maintaining work-life balance (2.0); and 3) Less personal time (1.8). . Interview data revealed the differences between the graduates in pathways 2 and 3 were the availability and the use of positive relationship with school leaders and district leaders to build their reputation. While both groups were aware of the district eligibility requirements to apply for an AP position, group 2's ability to capitalize on those established relationships to gain feedback and clear guidance on how to secure an AP position was a difference between the two groups. Another difference identified was group 2's perception of their district's hiring process, which included multiple rejections similar to group 3, was one of understanding while group 3's perception was one of discouragement and skepticism of the process. An important implication of this study is for program completers to understand impactful factors that could potentially affect their career decisions upon completion of their EDA program, the research to support the job searching experiences to secure an AP position, and the necessary support to gain a comprehensive understanding of best practices to support their efforts to secure an AP position. An additional implication of this study is for program faculty to have an understanding of extenuating factors that could affect the career decisions of their students and to integrate evidence based methods of support to ensure students are leaving the program with realistic expectations to successfully secure an AP position, how to capitalize on available resources to fully understand the path to apply and secure an AP position, and knowledge of what they may encounter in the application and interview process to build resiliency and perseverance in the midst of possible rejections. KEY TERMS: Career Pathways, Assistant Principal (AP), Principal, Educational Leader, Leadership Preparation, Florida State University (FSU), Educational Leadership and Administration (EDA) Program, Florida Department of Education (FDOE)
Identifier: 2019_Summer_Sampson_fsu_0071E_15380 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2019.
Date of Defense: July 15, 2019.
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Motoko Akiba, Professor Directing Dissertation; Fengfeng Ke, University Representative; Courtney E. Preston, Committee Member; Stacey Rutledge, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Educational leadership
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Sampson, E. M. (2019). Career Pathways to School Leadership: A Case of Florida State University Educational Leadership Program Completers. Retrieved from