A Better Way to Prepare Principals
Impact of a competency-based fellowship on aspiring principals' growth into leadership
The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) – in partnership with the Texas Tech University (TTU) College of Education and 12 high-need school districts in Texas and Louisiana – sought to change principal preparation to produce highly effective administrators to lead high-need schools. The result of the partnership was the Leadership Instruction for Teachers (LIFT) program, an innovative 15-month principal preparation and residency program that impacted 42 schools and 35,000 students. The LIFT program was funded in part through a federal Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant awarded in 2015.
The LIFT program placed principal candidates as interim assistant principals in high-need schools for a yearlong residency – more closely aligning coursework to their job-embedded clinical experience – under the mentorship of an experienced school leader. These strategies produced significant results over the four-year grant period.
The opportunity to spend every single school day as an assistant principal was the most valuable piece of the LIFT program. The job-embedded component gave me the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of areas.LIFT Principal Fellow