Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Hayward Richardson - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura McNeal

Third Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Furlow

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Carlos McCray


ABSTRACT PREPARATION OF THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL FOR THE ROLE OF THE PRINCIPAL: AN EXAMINATION OF REAL TASKS AS COMPARED TO THE PERCEIVED IDEAL TASKS by April Chastang Madden Principals most commonly ascend from the pool of those who are assistant principals, but it is unclear whether assistant principals are prepared to assume such a pivotal leadership role. This study seeks to compare the extent of on the job training provided to the assistant principals by examining ideal as compared to actual task performance in six competency areas associated with the job of principal. The research questions were as follows: 1. What are the perceived ideal professional tasks assistant principals should perform prior to becoming a principal? 2. Which tasks are performed by assistant principals? 3. Do these performed tasks prepare assistant principals for principalships? Utilizing Survey Monkey, a survey was e-mailed to principals with 1-3 years of experience in the State of Georgia. Descriptive statistics, Pearson Correlations, and t-tests were used for data analysis. As for research question 1, this study revealed that the tasks that ranked the highest among the study participants regarding perceived ideal tasks that assistant principals should perform prior to becoming principal were the competencies falling under the categories of Instructional Leader, Leadership in Staff Personnel, and Management of Schools. For question 2, Pearson Correlation showed that there were no significant correlations for ideal and actual tasks, except in the area of Instructional Leader. Regarding research question 3, The Pearson Correlation along with t-tests of subscales showed that there are significant differences between the ideal and actual tasks performed by assistant principal. The Pearson Correlation highlighted that the only significant correlation between ideal and actual competency tasks was found in the area of Instructional Leader. In conclusion, this study indicated that assistant principals are not adequately prepared to transition to the role of principal.