A North Carolina Principal Fellows Program involves a partnership amongst 12 rural districts that struggle to find and keep effective principals for high needs schools and UNC Greensboro.
Rural schools face disadvantages when recruiting prospective principals, and rural schools receive significantly fewer applications than larger districts (Pjanowski, Hewitt, & Brady, 2009). With the challenges rural districts face in recruiting and retaining principals expected to grow more acute in coming decades (Cruzeiro & Boon, 2009), the development of rural principal pipelines is imperative (Wood, Find, and Mirecki, 2013).
Drawing on this research, Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) – A North Carolina Principal Fellows Program involves a partnership amongst 12 rural districts that struggle to find and keep effective principals for high needs schools and UNC Greensboro.
Use the documents below to review all Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) – A North Carolina Principal Fellows Program events, including Term classes, Saturday Seminars, PPEERS Bootcamp, Summer Institutes, Mid-Internship Conferences, Performance Learning Days, and Internship Orientation.
At UNC Greensboro, we know what it takes to enhance our students’ education. Our unique approach to learning and top-quality faculty make the Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) – A North Carolina Principal Fellows Program more than just a Master’s Program. It’s a life experience. Find out what sets us apart. We invite you to explore our dynamic and diverse community and partnerships in the Piedmont area of rural North Carolina.
PPEERS is designed to cultivate skills that research indicates are key for principals in high-needs schools:
Year Long Full-Time Internship
Based on lessons learned from previous programs, including the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program, PTLA, and the FTLP, as well as research about the importance of a sustained, authentic clinical experience (e.g., Darling-Hammond, et al., 2007), Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) includes a 11-month, full-time clinical internship (August 1, 2023- through June 30, 2024) at a high-needs, rural school.
The internship is the heart of PPEERS in that it is the opportunity for authentic, site-based learning as well as the application of what PPEERS candidates learn in their coursework, leadership development, special topic seminars, and enrichment experiences.
During their clinical internship, PPEERS candidates will typically meet twice monthly with their Leadership Coaches for approximately two on-site. Additionally, during their internship, PPEERS candidates will continue to take coursework and complete leadership assignments that engage them in a structured set of experiences linked to the national Professional Standards for Educational Leaders and North Carolina Standards for School Executives as well as the day-to-day leadership of the internship school.
PPEERS candidates will create an electronic portfolio of artifacts from their practicum and internship assignments that are aligned to the NC Standards for School Executives. Coaches, Mentor Principals, and UNC Greensboro Clinical Supervisors will examine entries throughout the program. The portfolio is the basis of conferring the Certificate of Competency for licensure, which is based on 21 expectations aligned with the NC Standards for School Executives.
Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) participants will typically receive twice-monthly structured, non-evaluative Leadership Coaching during their 11-month internship experience.
Each PPEERS candidate will meet with their Leadership Coach at the internship site twice monthly August, 2023 – June, 2024. Sessions typically last about two hours. Each session involves examination of instructional leadership practices, dialogue, review of site-based assignments/projects, reflection on lessons learned, and a check-in/check-out with the PPEERS Intern’s Mentor Principal. Each session also involves an accountability check of the candidate’s progress on their Professional Growth Plan.
Special Topic Seminars
Special Topic Seminars are held on 2 Saturdays during each semester and during intensive summer sessions in Year 1 and Year 2, to allow Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) candidates to delve deeply into topics key to the success of principals in high-needs, rural schools. While these topics are also integrated into coursework, Special Topic Seminars provide opportunity to develop deep knowledge on these topics.
UNC Greensboro is recruiting 20 highly committed instructional leaders for the Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) – A North Carolina Principal Fellows Program. We are looking for those who are passionate about rural schools and who would like to participate in a fully-funded, intensive 42- credit hour Master of School Administration (MSA) two-year degree program.
The application process is open to all interested participants who meet the selection requirements, characteristics, and assurances, and submit all application materials as outlined. Each partnering district has a limited number of openings; as a result, the selection of participants is a competitive process.
Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) candidates will be selected through a rigorous two-stage process:
Stage 1: District Application – Due 1/31
PPEERS candidates who are selected by the District Selection Committee will move to Stage 2. Notifications will be made on or before 2/28 by the District Selection Committee.
Stage 2: UNCG Application – Due 3/14
Final decisions will be made by UNC Greensboro in collaboration and agreement with each partner district on 3/30.
Check out highlights from our current and past cohorts in our PPEERS Spotlight Reports.
Dr. Aaron Woody
Superintendent; Asheboro City Schools
Director of Human Resources and Beginning Teacher Coordinator
Director of CTE and Federal Programs
Dr. Kelly Batten
Associate Superintendent of Human Resources
Director of Human Resources
Dr. Chris Weikart
Director of Human Resources
Chief of Human Resources
Assistant Superintendent for Learning
Director of Human Resources
Dr. Shon Hildreth
Director for Human Resources
Dr. Charles Perkins
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
A variety of financial aid is available to our students, including scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. We invite you to explore the many scholarship and funding opportunities offered in the School of Education.