The Wallace Foundation recently announced the launch of a five-year, $47 million initiative to help universities improve how they prepare future principals, especially for the nation’s highest-need schools.
The new University Preparation Program Initiative (UPPI) will fund the redesign of up to six university programs, which will be asked to carry out their efforts in partnership with school districts. Such collaborations are viewed by many educators as key to high-quality training for aspiring principals.
The goal is to learn lessons about curricular and other improvements that can be used or adapted across the country by university-based principal preparation programs, the main training ground for school leaders in the United States.
Accordingly, the initiative includes research to find out more about topics including:
How universities can develop and run high-quality courses of study, ones that provide such recommended features as strong internships for program enrollees.
How universities can form effective partnerships with the school districts their graduates feed into.
Because states have a role in university preparation through their authority to approve programs and license principals, the initiative will also provide funding for the states in which the universities are located to review their principal preparation program policies and see if changes could encourage the development of effective programming statewide.