|As result of the disparity in the academic literature about principal preparation, this study was designed to investigate the perceived effectiveness of principal preparation program type for administrative work. The literature provided four categories for program type including university-based, district-based, third-party professional development organizations, and partnership programs. The following facets of educational leadership were examined to determine if working administrators felt prepared by their preparation program for administrative work: vision, culture, management, collaboration, integrity, and context.
The survey study asked a sample (n=600) of administrators (N=30,230) 93 questions on the School Administrator Preparedness Survey. The data were analyzed using ANOVA to determine if differences exist in the means of the variables being studied. One research question produced a significant finding. Respondents prepared by partnership programs felt more prepared to develop and implement a school vision than respondents prepared by university-based programs. One statistically significant ancillary finding was also discovered when the demographic variables were compared to the means of the six educational leadership characteristics. The variables of management and years of administrative experience were compared for a difference in means. This analysis indicated statistically significant differences in an administrator's number of years experience and perceived ability to manage the organization. An additional ancillary finding was the positive perception of traditionally prepared administrators of their preparation. Much of the academic literature produced a negative view of traditional university-based preparation programs. The results of this study contradicted this portion of the literature.