Critique Exercise

A Review of Principal Internships
The following are examples of state innovations related to field based experiences for principal preparation. These include one year full-time
internships that are part of master’s degree programs, structured internship requirements (though not full-time, one year) during preparation
programs, pathway programs (Louisiana) that follow aspiring leaders (principals as well as teacher leadership) through the leadership continuum,
and residency programs that follow a tiered certification model. We hope that providing a variety of examples will guide task force members in
ways that the field based experience component can be strengthened without negatively affecting principals in any particular demographic area of
the state. When possible, strategies influencing principals in rural areas are addressed.
Finally, in an effort to build on an existing post-certification foundation, components of the Illinois Distinguished Principal Leader Institute
(IDPLI) are highlighted and cross-walked with selected field-based experience components from other states across the country. Illinois already
has a foundation in place as to what distinguished principals should be able to know and do as well as the most effective learning activities that
develop these distinguished leaders. It would be to the State’s advantage to use the standards and learning and assessment activities developed for
the IDPLI to backward map the competencies and training for novice and aspiring school leaders to build a continuum of school leader
Examples of States’ Field Based Experience Requirements
Program Program Overview Program Components Assessments Exit Criteria
IL Distinguished Principal
Leadership Institute
This is a 3-year program for experienced
principals to transform them into visionary
leaders of our schools. Principals will be
expected to practice and demonstrate
competencies in five leadership performance
Fostering the mission of the school;
Leading change;
Knowledge of teaching and learning;
Building collaborative relationships; and
Building accountability systems
The crux of this program is to develop visionary
leaders who improve student achievement.
Principals participate in 4 inperson sessions per year that are
guided by a trained facilitator. In
between these face-to-face
sessions, principals will remain
receive support and build a
professional learning community
through electronic delivery
systems such as webinars,
listservs, podcasts, etc.
Data analysis and use (school
and student performance)
Action research & collaborative
work with faculty
Receives support from at least
one performance coach
Program personnel
conduct formative
and summative
evaluations of
performance on
criteria rubrics
associated with all
five leadership
performance areas.
Portfolio assessments
are conducted twice a
year for formative
purposes, and the
third time as the
summative evaluation
Principals must
performance on
rubrics related
to the five
areas. Notably,
principals must
over the three
years of the
Peer networking and
professional learning community
with fellow program participants
Develops a portfolio to reflect on
and show the learning achieved
during the program
of principal
performance. At the
end of years 1 & 2,
principals are visited
by program
personnel. In year 3,
a 3-day site visit to
principals’ school
(interviews &
observations) are part
of the summative
evaluation of
program to earn
Residency Programs
As one way of addressing the rural issues in providing internships, these states established a provision that candidates who complete a school leader preparation
program earn an initial certificate under which these leaders then complete a residency to earn standard principal certification. Therefore, the state is only
investing its resources on those educational leadership master’s degree holders who intend to pursue a school leadership position.
New Jersey
(GO TO PAGE 184)
After earning a master’s degree in educational
leadership and passing the state’s certification
exam, principal candidates earn a provisional
certificate. New principals must complete a 1 to
2 year state approved residency in a public
school district.
Develop and demonstrate a
thorough understanding of NJ
standards, core curriculum
standards, professional standards
for teachers and school leaders
Supervised by a state-approved
and trained mentor
Meet with resident
superintendent at least once a
The intern’s mentor
convenes an advisory
panel to monitor
interns progress who
evaluates the intern at
least 3 times during
the year. The first
two evaluations are
formative and last
evaluation is
Interns must
competency on
the NJ
standards for
school leaders.
After earning a master’s degree in educational
leadership and passing the state’s certification
exam, graduates earn a provisional certificate.
New principals are eligible to participate for 1
year in the Kentucky Principal Internship
Program (KPIP). To participate, principal
candidates must obtain a school leader position.
This is a standards-driven, performance-based
The employing superintendent
provides an orientation for the
intern to clarify roles and
requirements of the internship.
The intern is supervised by the
internship committee (principal
mentor, superintendent or
designee, and an administrator
Interns are assessed
by the principal
internship committee.
The committee
observes and assesses
the intern and
portfolio at least 3
times during the year
Interns must
on the ISLLC
standards to
earn standard
residency with the purpose of providing
supervised practice under experienced
educators. The program provides the basis for
subsequent certification.
educator (faculty member). The
intern meets with committee to
clarify roles, requirements, and
procedures of the internship. The
intern spends a minimum of 50
hours with the mentor.
(allowing at least 30
days between
In 2005, the Florida legislature re-enacted a
residency program for Florida principals. After
completing a master’s in educational leadership
and passing the state certification exam,
principal candidates earn a Level I certificate.
School leader candidates then participate in a 1-
year residency in their employing school district.
The employing school district
develops the standards and
guidelines for the resident’s
program. This plan must be
approved by the Florida State
Department of Education. The
district may choose to partner
with a university to develop and
implement the residency
program. Florida’s program puts
districts in the driver’s seats of
these residency programs.
Programs must align with the
Florida Principal Leadership
Standards. The program is based
upon each individual intern’s
learning needs based on selfassessments and other data on
the leadership competencies.
Candidates are
assessed on the
competencies of the
Florida Principal
Standards. District
programs design their
assessment systems
and have them
approved by the FL
Department of
Education in their
program approval
competence in
the Florida
principals earn
Level II
Preparation Program Internships
Louisiana educational leader
practitioner (residency)
This is a new program that has not been
implemented yet in the state. This is a voluntary
provision in the state legislature that outlines the
practitioner program that can be offered by
private providers or Louisiana colleges or
universities. This is a streamlined certification
program that combines intensive coursework
and on-the-job experiences. To be eligible for
the program, candidates must have a bachelor’s
degree, 3-years teaching experience, and meet
other criteria set by the program provider. The
School leader candidates
complete their coursework in the
first and second summers using
the Standards for Educational
Leaders in Louisiana as the basis
for the curriculum. Topics
address: leading with vision,
data to lead school improvement
building a high-performance
learning culture, leading a
focused drive toward school
The program
provider, principal
mentors, and
principal coaches
form a team to
perform a mid-year
review of the
performance to assess
the extent to which
the candidate is
Candidates must
proficiency on
the Louisiana
standards, earn
a passing score
on the School
program provider partners with a school district
personnel to tap potential participants.
Total hours required: Minimum 330 contact
hours of coursework (22 credit hours) and a
minimum of 125 days as a practitioner leader.
achievement, and so forth.
During the school year after the
first summer of coursework,
candidates assume a leadership
role in a school district/charter
school equivalent to an assistant
principalship. The hiring school
pays the candidate’s salary.
Interns serve in at least 2
different schools and experience
a full range of leadership
responsibilities. During the
school year, the candidates
participate in weekly sessions
and four seminars for a
minimum of 60 contact hours.
Residents receive one-on-one
supervision through a residency
supervisor through the district
and are mentored by a principal
proficiency. The team
will recommend
types of support to
address weaknesses.
At the end of the
year, this team
performs a review to
determine the extent
to which the
candidate has
competency and is
eligible for Leader
Level I certification.
complete all
complete all
plans (to
complete an
Plan for
and complete a
Candidates earn
Leader Level I
North Carolina Principal
Fellows Program
This is a two-year fellowship program for those
educators who intend to pursue the
principalship. To participate in the fellows
program, an interested educator applies to one of
North Carolina’s Master’s in School
Administration (MSA) program. Once accepted,
the educator applies to the fellows program. If
selected, the aspiring school leaders take a 2-
year leave of absence from their school in order
to participate in the 2-year fellows program.
They receive a scholarship/stipends during the
2-year fellows program. The first-year fellows
receive $30,000. The money is distributed to the
fellow’s university and is disbursed to the fellow
through the university’s financial aid office. The
The first year, fellows complete
the coursework in the MSA. The
second year, fellows receive
approximately $38,000 and
participate in a 1-year (10
months) internship in a North
Carolina public school or charter
school. Staff at the fellows
program provides an orientation
for new fellows at the beginning
of each year and enrichment
activities throughout the
program (e.g., podcasts;
discounts to conferences; articles
on leadership, job searches,
Each participating
university sets the
guidelines and
criteria for the
At the
completion of
the fellows
fellows are
expected to pay
back the stipend
money either
through cash or
4 years of
service in the
North Carolina
public school
system or
charter schools.
university deducts tuition and disburses the
remaining money to the fellow over 10 months.
Of the 935 graduates of the program, 96% have
obtained jobs as APs, principals, central office
executives, and superintendents.
A program staff person admitted that they do
struggle with getting educators from rural
schools to apply for the program.
Aspiring principals who do not participate in
this fellowship (and 1-year internship), complete
the internship requirements of their preparation
networking). Each university and
school district designs the
internship experience to meet the
needs of the intern and district.
The only
service that
counts is in
principal or
positions, and
fellows have 12
years to pay the
back (i.e., it
does not have to
be 4 years of
experience as an
AP or principal,
and this allows
time if the
fellow does not
obtain an AP or
UIC Urban Educational
Leadership Program
This educational leadership program offers three
strands to meet the learning needs of the
program’s leader candidates. These three strands
are: for those who already have a Type 75, those
who have the Type 75 and are practicing
principals, and those who do not yet have the
Type 75. All candidates participate in a 1-year
internship. Although those the latter strand, must
complete coursework and pass the certification
exam meeting the requirements for the Type 75
and CPS principalship eligibility. Interns work
in paid administrative internships or full-time
leadership positions (e.g., assistant principals or
Interns engage in school leader
responsibilities such as: school
improvement planning,
observing classroom instruction,
budgets, hiring and staffing,
special ed and bilingual ed
procedures, and data collection
and analysis. Interns meet
weekly with coach for formative
assessment discussions. They
participate in a weekly practicum
seminar with fellow program
interns and receive group and
Interns are regularly
assessed on their
performance on the
CPS competencies
and 10 Indicators of
School Capacity for
Student Learning
(which has
incorporated the IL
school leader
principals). Interns put theory into practice into
becoming transformative leaders for urban
individual coaching on job
search and interview strategies.
This internship requirement grew in direct
response to Montana’s growing problem of
attracting candidates to fill principal vacancies.
In this program, a district superintendent
identifies a teacher(s) with leadership potential
to fill a principal vacancy(ies). The district
partners with one of the two universities that
provide principal preparation programs to enroll
this intern in a principal preparation program.
[Note: while this program is not ideal in terms of
explicitly addressing standards or performance
assessments, it does show that internships can be
a strategy for recruiting leaders to rural areas.]
The principal intern participates
in a three-week summer session
of master’s coursework (9
credits). During the school year,
the principal intern carries out
the duties of principal under the
supervision of preparation
program and with the support of
the superintendent as a mentor.
Preparation programs have also
made the program more
accessible through distance
learning and intensive summer
sessions. The state’s professional
associations also provide waived
registration fees to annual
conferences, special sessions for
interns and mentors, and
assigning them conference
mentors to help interns network.
Research on the program has
indicated the importance of
expanding the mentoring of
these interns.
The intern must be
annually visited by a
faculty member from
the preparation
program provider. If
the principal intern is
the only
administrator hired
by the district, the
district must contract
with a licensed
administrator to
perform periodic and
annual evaluations of
the principal intern’s
No information
Leadership Continuum Pathway Programs
Louisiana has developed a pathway of school leadership development and support that begins with a teacher leader endorsement and continues
onto the superintendency. This pathway provides a framework for the state’s preparation and professional development programs.
Louisiana has instituted a tiered certification system. The state’s preparation programs align to this new structure. The first 6 hours of coursework
leads to the teacher leader endorsement. Those who wish to pursue the principalship continue on in the program to earn certification. After
certification, the new principals must participate in a two year Education Leader Induction Program. After completing the induction program,
principals must receive a passing score on the School Leader Licensure Portfolio Assessment to earn the Level 2 certificate.
• Teacher Leader Endorsement (optional) (can be earned in the first 6 hours of the principal’s master’s level preparation program)
• Educational Leader Certificate – Level 1 (an initial/provisional certificate) (earned after completing the master’s level program and
passing the state certification exam)
• Educational Leader Certificate – Level 2 (standard certification) (earned after successfully completing Louisiana’s 2-year induction
• Educational Leader Certificate – Level 3 (superintendent) (earned after completing additional coursework at a superintendency
certification program)
Source: Louisiana Leadership Policies
Structured internship requirements throughout the course of the preparation programs
Alabama does not require a full-year internship (each university and district sets the time limit according to the districts’ needs). But, the state has
outlined explicit criteria about the structure and content of the internships as well as a description of university and district partnerships as related
to the internship.
Components: Candidates in Alabama instructional leadership preparation programs must experience an internship in which the following occur:
Collaboration between the university and LEA that anchors internship activities in real world problems instructional leaders face, provides for
appropriate structure and support of learning experiences, and ensures quality guidance and supervision.
i. An explicit set of school based assignments are designed to provide opportunities for the application of knowledge, skills, and
ways of thinking that are required to effectively perform the core responsibilities of a school leader, as identified in state standards
and research and incorporated in the preparation programs’ design.
ii. A developmental continuum of practice progresses from observing to participating in and then to leading school based activities
related to the core responsibilities of instructional leaders, with analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of real life problems at each
iii. Field placements provide opportunities to work with diverse students, teachers, parents, and communities.
iv. Handbooks or other guiding materials clearly define the expectations, processes, and schedule of the internship to participants,
faculty supervisors, directing instructional leaders (principals), and LEA personnel.
v. Ongoing supervision is provided by program faculty who have the expertise and time to provide frequent formative feedback on
interns’ performance that lets them know how they need to improve.
vi. Directing instructional leaders (principals) model the desired leadership behaviors and who know how to guide interns through
required activities that bring their performance to established standards.
vii. Rigorous evaluations of interns’ performance of core school leader responsibilities are based on clearly defined performance
standards and exit criteria and consistent procedures.
a) Design: Universities and LEAs collaborate to insure that candidates have meaningful and practical experiences in actual school settings
during the course of the instructional leadership preparation program. The internship is designed to place candidates in the cooperating
school during critical times of instructional planning. This collaborative model requires that LEAs provide release time for candidates and
for universities to work with LEAs so that the candidate’s experiences are comprehensive and valuable. The internship experiences are the
total sum of practical experiences, either field or clinical, as part of every course taken for preparation, plus a residency. The residency is
uninterrupted service in an active school with students present. A residency shall be no less than ten consecutive full days in the school
setting with students present. The residency allows interns to experience leadership in as many of the Alabama Leadership Standard
indicators as possible. Candidates shall prepare and maintain a comprehensive portfolio which indicates the level of experiences and
knowledge gained in instructional leadership during the intern experiences. The portfolio shall be juried by a committee of university and
cooperating school staff before the candidate is recommended by the university for instructional leadership certification.
Source: 290-3-3-.48 Instructional Leadership. (September 30, 2007)
Example: At the University of South Alabama, the educational leadership program partners with two districts—Mobile and Baldwin to
provide a 1-semester, full-time internship. Mobile is the 10th largest school district in the United States but it is not strictly an urban district. It
contains schools that are rural and urban, poor and wealthy. Baldwin is a smaller wealthier school district. As partners, the school districts
indicate the number of aspiring principals they are willing to sponsor during a full-semester residency. This becomes the cohort for the
educational leadership program. If an aspiring principal wishes to enroll in the program, but does not have the sponsorship of the district, s/he
may do so if they sign a waiver indicating their willingness to sponsor their own residency (i.e., pay for their own substitute).
Like Alabama, Iowa does not require a full-year internship, but the state has outlined explicit criteria to guide the structure and content of the
internship as well as criteria for university and district roles in partnering to create meaningful internship experiences. These guidelines are
summarized below.
Administrator candidates study about and practice in settings that include diverse populations, students with disabilities, and students of different
ages. Clinical practice supports dispositions and the development of knowledge and skills that are identified in the Iowa board of educational
examiners’ licensure standards, the unit’s framework for preparation of effective administrators, and standards from ISLLC or other national
professional organizations as appropriate for the licenses sought by candidates.
Clinical practice for candidates should also include clearly stated expectations that tie the experiences to coursework and that support learning in
context, including: school settings, in contexts that provide high-quality instructional programs for children; opportunities for administrator
candidates to observe and be observed by others and to engage in discussion and reflection on practice; and involvement in activities directed at
the improvement of teaching and learning.
School administrators and institution faculty share responsibility for administrator candidate learning, including, the planning and implementing
curriculum and teaching and supervision of the clinical program. The institution should enter into a written contract with the cooperating school
districts that provide field experiences, including administrator internships. Accountability for these experiences will be demonstrated through:
• Jointly defined qualifications for administrator candidates entering clinical practice;
• Selection of institution faculty and school administration members who demonstrate skills knowledge, and dispositions of highly
accomplished practitioners.
• Selection of school administrators and institution faculty members who are prepared to mentor and supervise administrator candidates;
• Training and support for school administrators who mentor and supervise administrator candidates; and
• Joint evaluation of administrator candidates by the cooperating administrator(s) and institution supervisor.
Chapter 79 Standards for Practitioner and Administrator Preparation Programs (October 2004)
Creative strategies learned from these states
The internship is part of a systemic effort of preparing our future school leaders. The system begins with the selection process. The admission of
who gets into our preparation programs becomes the responsibility of both the university and school districts to ensure that the people admitted
truly have the motivation, passion, skills, and intent to become transformative school leaders. No longer can our students afford to have
educational administration programs be used as “easy and convenient” programs to earn the master’s to move up the pay scale, or to “pocket” a
leadership degree in case a leadership position opens up years down the road. Incorporating an intensive internship requirement into the program
and certification requirements, would no longer make educational administration programs easy or convenient. Therefore, most likely those
persons with a strong purpose to serve in a school leadership role would pursue this certification. To incorporate a more comprehensive internship
component into our programs, we may need to come up with creative solutions that reduce the barriers for participation for any particular
geographic area. This section is not implying that there is one solution that best fits the needs of Illinois. Instead, policymakers may choose to offer
a menu of internship options that allows all aspiring principals in the state to participate in substantial real-world internships.
1. One solution to the rural district dilemma is for the rural districts to “tap” the participants that they will support in the program, thus reducing
the number that will need to be released and concentrating their resources on those they believe they will place in leadership positions in the
future. This may mean that some participants in the same program will not be afforded the year-long internship, but there could be an alternative
for these folks. If these candidates without a year-long internship are eventually placed in a school leadership position, then they can be
provided/required to complete a special year-long district induction program with more intensive coaching, mentoring, supervision and evaluation
of competency demonstration than the induction program for candidates who came through the year-long internship. Their induction program
might look more like a residency. This would, of course, take specific provisions in licensure policy and policy regarding the induction program.
In the long run, it would avoid taking so many teachers out of the classroom for a year, but it would still place a burden and responsibility on the
rural districts for providing a more intense induction program. Illinois already has mandates a 1-year mentoring program for first-year principals,
this 1-year induction program for principals who do not participate in a one-year internship could tie into the mentoring program—although the
mentoring program for these principals would need to be significantly more structured than the current mentoring program.
2. Another solution would be to disassociate the master’s and the Type 75 certificate. All program participants would participate in coursework
leading up to a master’s in educational leadership. Those who are intent to pursue the principalship would go on to participate in a 1-year full-time
internship. Upon its completion, these aspiring school leaders would be assessed on the Illinois leadership standards and be required to pass the
state licensure exam in order to earn the Type 75 certificate. If someone opted out of the internship after completing the master’s but then decides
to pursue a school leadership position, this person could then petition the state to complete a special year-long induction program like the one
described in option one above. The length of time elapsed between completing the master’s degree and the acquisition of the school leader position
and the person’s leadership experiences during this time will guide the content and intensiveness of the induction program (e.g., someone with a
longer time lapse and little leadership experience may require a more intensive and structured induction program).
3. The state could also opt to structure the 1 year internship as an accumulation of hours and experiences throughout the duration of the preparation
program. Some internship experiences may be course-embedded school-based experiences. Program participants might participate in a school’s
improvement planning process, help open or close a school, assist in the budgeting process, conduct an action research project with faculty, and so
forth. In an SREB report, the authors stated that it is not the hours that are important, it is the evidence of demonstrated competence in the
leadership standards that should determine the completion of an internship requirement. However, there should be explicit guidelines on the
content, timing, and location of these experiences to ensure a diversity of experiences, as well as the indicators of expected performance and
assessment procedures for evaluating competence. The preparation program may also still require a full-time internship at the end of coursework,
but this may be of a shorter time frame (e.g., one semester).
4. Staying true to our belief that the 1-year full-time internship is one of the most valuable learning experiences to developing strong instructional
leaders. However, realizing that this is a resource-laden endeavor in terms of costs and people, the State may opt to create a principal fellowship
program, similar to North Carolina. Aspiring principals may apply to the state to participate in the fellowship program. As a fellow, the aspiring
principals earn a stipend that allows them to leave their current job and participate in a 1-year full-time internship. Or, the aspiring principal’s
district might receive reimbursement to pay a substitute who takes the place of the fellow while s/he is out of the school to participate in the
internship (rather than the fellow receives a stipend). Other aspiring school leaders who are in educational leadership programs would still be
required to participate in an intensive internship, possibly as suggested in numbers 1 through 3 above. The State would have explicit guidelines as
to the content, structure, and assessment requirements.
These are four examples of what might work in Illinois to allow teachers who want to be administrators to do so, at any time in their careers.
Additional options might be developed from combining the best of each of the four options, or even looking further “out-of-the-box” and
developing additional options.
SREB Core Components of a Quality Internship
As an outgrowth of their work on school leadership, the Southern Regional Education Board has identified eight core components of a quality
internship that give aspiring school leaders opportunities to apply and master the skills and knowledge necessary to improving student
achievement in today’s schools. These core components were derived from the following sources: a review of school leadership literature, research
on critical success factors of principals who significantly improved student learning in high need schools, a review of exemplary school leader
preparation/professional development programs, and lessons learned from the on-going SREB University Leadership Development Network. The
eight core components of effective internships are as follows:
1. Collaboration between the university and school district to anchor internship activities in real-world school problems
2. Guided by explicit school-based assignments designed to provide opportunities for the application of knowledge, skills, and ways of
3. A developmental continuum of practice that progresses from observation to scaffolded practice to activities related to the core
responsibilities of school leaders
4. Opportunities to work in diverse settings with a diversity of students, parents, teachers, and communities
5. Guided by handbooks or other handbooks that clearly outline the expectations, processes, and schedules to interns, faculty, and district
6. Ongoing supervision by faculty supervisors who provide feedback to interns for their further development and improvements in practice
7. Mentored/coached by experienced principals who model effective leadership practices and know how to guide interns through educative
8. Rigorous assessments of intern’s performance on clearly defined leadership standards and indicators of competency using consistent
assessment procedures
Source: Fry, B., Bottoms, G., & O’Neill, K. (2005). The principal internship: How can we get it right? Atlanta, GA: Southern Regional Education

"Our Prices Start at $11.99. As Our First Client, Use Coupon Code GET15 to claim 15% Discount This Month!!":

Get started

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply