Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Design Thinking Approach to Improve School Leader Onboarding in Context of Creating a Principal Succession Management Framework
by Coker, Alison Gwynn, D.Ed., High Point University, 2019, 274; 27994001
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation in practice describes the process used by one school district to begin customizing principal onboarding programs within the context of designing a school leader succession management framework for a large, urban, public school district in North Carolina. Given that 60% of the district’s students live in poverty and research has proven that principal turnover has a negative impact on student learning and a particularly significant negative impact on student learning in high-poverty schools, this study adopts a phenomenological approach to identifying what principals believe about onboarding and how to make it meaningful for school leaders assuming the role of principals in high poverty schools. The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experiences of principals serving in high poverty schools related to their perceptions of their onboarding experiences.

The principals of high poverty schools in this study identified several areas that districts should consider when designing entry processes to support principal success, including training related to student and staff data, organizational, school, and community cultures and strategies for accessing and using available resources. Moreover, participants revealed the need for the district to remove the isolation that often surrounds principals–connections to other school leaders and mentors was viewed as an important step in ensuring principal success. In addition to presenting suggestions for a customized onboarding program for school leaders in high poverty schools, this study also presents a high-level framework for school leader succession. As principal tenure averages four years, this study suggests that a school leader succession management framework is necessary to help mitigate the negative effects of principal attrition.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Allen, Tawannah
Commitee: Albritton, Thom, Morrison, Shirley
School: High Point University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- North Carolina, US
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration, Management
Keywords: Human resources leadership, Principal entry processes, Principal onboarding, Principal succession, School leader succession, Succession management Framework
Publication Number: 27994001
ISBN: 9798641509204
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