Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Administration and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Susan Korach, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Kent Seidel

Third Advisor

Kristina Hesbol

Fourth Advisor

Ellen Miller-Brown

Fifth Advisor

Douglas Allen


Assistant principal, Leadership capacity, Leadership practice, School leadership, Succession management


The purpose of this study was to explore the leadership capacities and practices of assistant principals. The research also sought to determine what relationships existed between capacity and practice and to see if there was a difference based on experience, context and personal characteristics.

Since the majority of principals first serve as assistant principals, their work and experiences as assistant principals will have significant consequences (Kwan, 2009). The literature has long held and continues to challenge the notion that the role of assistant principal is adequate preparation for the principalship (Chan, Webb, & Bowen, 2003; Harris, Muijs, & Crawford, 2003; Kwan, 2009; Mertz, 2000; Webb & Vulliamy, 1995).

Based on empirical findings, this study has affirmed the need to further research and refine the role of the assistant principal. The results indicate that in addition to strengths, there are explicit gaps and missed opportunities in the leadership practices of assistant principals that impact the potential for building a leadership pipeline within schools. The work of the assistant principal is characterized by a proliferation of duties rather than a strategic set of practices that support distributed leadership and sustainability.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Thomas Lee Morgan

File size

174 p.

File format





Educational Leadership, Educational Administration