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Title: Characteristics and career paths of North Carolina school leaders
Description: This study examines the demographics, educational attainment, licensures, and career paths of those who were assistant principals or principals ("school leaders") in North Carolina from 2001/02 through 2003/2004. The career path analyses focus specifically on retention and recruitment. The retention analyses describe the top-10 paths that school leaders took, starting from their initial leadership position and over the 10 year period examined. The recruitment analyses describe the top-10 paths for school leaders before they took on their leadership roles during the 10 year period examined. Finally, the study describes and compares the demographics, educational attainment, educational licensure, and career paths of school leaders in rural and non-rural schools over the 10 year period.

Results from the study show that demographic make-up of North Carolina’s principal workforce has largely remained stable from 2001/02 through 2012/12, including in rural schools. Also, overall school leaders have largely earned the same degrees and hold the same licenses. The majority of assistant principals and principals spent time as a classroom teacher prior to becoming a school leader. From 2001/02 through 2012/13, leaders in rural schools were generally similar, in terms of demographics, educational attainment, licenses, and positions held to their peers in non-rural schools. The descriptive study provides a deeper understanding of the backgrounds andc professional paths of school leaders, including in rural schools. North Carolina stakeholders might consider study findings when contemplating their next steps towards increasing the number and improving the quality of school leaders in rural and non-rural schools. Information from the study can also potentially support efforts to enhance retention and succession planning in these schools.
Online Availability:
Cover Date: March 2017
Web Release: March 10, 2017
Print Release:
Publication #: REL 2017230
General Ordering Information
Center/Program: REL
Associated Centers: NCEE
Type of Product: What's Happening
Questions: For questions about the content of this What's Happening, please contact:
Amy Johnson.