The University of Washington College of Education will participate in a $47 million initiative to improve university principal preparation programs announced last week by the Wallace Foundation.
The Danforth Educational Leadership Program was selected through a competitive process to partner with San Diego State University in redesigning its master’s in education leadership and principal credentialing program.
“There is a growing body of research showing that principals play a significant role in student learning, and high-quality principal preparation is an important part of the equation,” said Ann O’Doherty, director of the Danforth program. “We look forward to this opportunity to partner with San Diego State and share what we’ve learned about preparing excellent principals, as well as for us to learn from their experiences.”
The Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Initiative will explore how university programs can improve pre-service training so it reflects the evidence on how best to prepare effective principals; these insights will be shared to benefit the broader field. San Diego State University is one of seven institutions selected by the foundation to participate in the initiative, and the UW’s Danforth program was one of a handful of principal preparation programs known for high-quality training to be identified as partners.
O’Doherty said Danforth faculty will work with San Diego State faculty and school district partners to explore their curriculum, internship program, and assessment of student learning, as well as offer professional development and other technical assistance as part of the program design work.
As part of the initiative, each university also will partner with at least three school districts that hire its graduates to ensure that the preparation program is revamped with local school needs in mind.
“One of the things we want to highlight is the work we do with the Danforth program’s school district partners,” O’Doherty said. “They’ve helped us tremendously in developing our core competencies for principals and creating rich internships for our Danforth students. An important part of preparing great principals is seeing this chain of effect in improving student learning outcomes through teaching practices supported by principal practices.”
Ann O'Doherty, Director, Danforth Educational Leadership Program
Dustin Wunderlich, Director for Marketing and Communications