Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Kenda Grover

Committee Member

Kit Kacirek

Second Committee Member

John Bacon


effectiveness of PPP, leadership self-efficacy, perception of readiness, Principal preparation program


Research provides increasing evidence that school leadership correlates with school performance (Herman et al., 2016). The leadership skills of K-12 school administrators are linked with student achievement. Evidence indicates that school leaders’ roles continue to evolve as accountability measures change (Grissom et al., 2021). Historically, principal preparation programs emphasized developing management skills. According to research, this is insufficient to prepare instructional leaders for the complex social context of contemporary education (Hernandez et al., 2012; Kerston, 2010; Levine, 2005; Lynch, 2012; Miller, 2013; Zubnzycki, 2013). Unfortunately, most principal preparation programs (PPPs) have not kept pace with the expanding role of principals to meet the evolving demands of modern school administrators (Bacon, 2016; Kersten et al., 2010; Mitgang 2012). Insufficient research has been conducted to evaluate if emerging PPPs develop instructional leaders who are more prepared than graduates of standard academic programs. This study might provide information on the efficacy of such initiatives. The IMPACT Arkansas Fellowship is an innovative alternative to a conventional educational leadership program. It is designed to provide individualized experiences and support to better equip aspiring school leaders for formal leadership positions in Arkansas high-poverty schools. This qualitative study aims to examine how recent graduates perceive the IMPACT Arkansas Fellowship program to have prepared them for the complexities of school leadership, as well as their levels of self-efficacy associated with the effective application of leadership knowledge and skills. More specifically, the study intends to illuminate the relationship between IMPACT PPP components and self-efficacy through an analysis of graduates' perceptions of their leadership preparation experiences.