Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS)

About PPEERS

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) involves a partnership amongst 11 rural districts that struggle to find and keep effective principals for high needs schools and UNC Greensboro.

At the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA) awards luncheon on November 11th, the PPEERS program was awarded the 2021 UCEA Exemplary Educational Leadership Program (EELP) award. The EELP award celebrates exemplary programs that model and can catalyze and support ongoing program improvement in other universities.

PPEERS UCEA Award
“As a PPEERS participant you will learn that being uncomfortable is a part of growth.”
--Bernadette Ragland, Person County
“As a PPEERS participant you will learn that being uncomfortable is a part of growth.”
–Bernadette Ragland, Person County
“There have been many times throughout the past year and a half that current principals have said, ‘I wished I had the opportunity to learn that when I was preparing to be a principal.’”
--Jennifer Beasley, Davidson County
“There have been many times throughout the past year and a half that current principals have said, ‘I wished I had the opportunity to learn that when I was preparing to be a principal.’”
–Jennifer Beasley, Davidson County

Spotlight Report

Check out highlights from our current PPEERS 3 cohort and past cohorts in our PPEERS Spotlight Report.


Read more about PPEERS in the articles below.


Completion of program leads to NC Level I Principal License and MSA degree.