CAAP Program

Click here to select a time for the CAAP Interview

For more information, contact Dr. Jerry R. Burkett

What is the Coaching Academy for Aspiring Principals?

The University of North Texas at Dallas and the Educational Leadership Department of the School of Education have developed a coaching and training program designed to develop, mentor, and support educators who aspire to become K-12 campus principals. This Coaching Academy for Aspiring Principals (CAAP) will target current assistant principals across all grade levels who have been identified by nearby school districts as individuals who show promise for potential promotion to full campus leadership. The coaching academy is designed with a curriculum based on the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (NPBEA, 2015). The Professional Standards for Educational Leaders were created as a national set of standards for educational leaders “outlining foundational principles of leadership to guide the practice of educational leaders so they can move the needle on student learning and achieve more equitable outcomes” (NPBEA, 2015).

Professional Standards of Education Leaders

Standard 1. Mission, Vision, and Core Values
Standard 2. Ethics and Professional Norms
Standard 3. Equity and Cultural Responsiveness
Standard 4. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Standard 5. Community of Care and Support for Students
Standard 6. Professional Capacity of School Personnel
Standard 7. Professional Community for Teachers and Staff
Standard 8. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community
Standard 9. Operations and Management
Standard 10. School Improvement

Academy candidates will attend five sessions over the course of a school year and receive training on two standards per session. Between training sessions, cohort participants will be paired with a coach that will provide field-based assistance to reinforce training, as well as personalized support to enhance the professional growth of the individual. The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT-Dallas) has partnered with the Dallas Independent School District to recruit candidates for the academy.

Academy Dates
All dates are Thursdays

Session 1:  September 20, 2018
Session 2:  November 29, 2018
Session 3:  January 24, 2019
Session 4:  March 21, 2019
Session 5:  May 2, 2019

Need for Urban Leadership

The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) is the largest school district in North Texas, the second largest school district in the state of Texas, and the fourteenth largest school district in the nation, serving approximately 157,000 students across 239 schools (“2016-2017 Annual Report”, n.d.).  The district spans over 384 square miles and serves students in 15 municipalities outside the city of Dallas (“About Dallas ISD”, n.d.).  UNT-Dallas has partnered with the school district  to support and address DISD’s identified leadership deficit.  By 2025 DISD expects to lose nearly 25% of its current campus leadership, leaving a significant shortage in the number of prepared candidates to assume the roles of campus leadership. To address this growing concern, DISD has partnered with UNT-Dallas to grow, support, and train its pool of qualified principal candidates.

As a local, urban-education focused university, UNT-Dallas further recognizes the unique need for increased support and training for educators that work for schools with low socio economic and minority students. Currently 92% of DISD students are Hispanic or African American (“2016-2017 Annual Report”, n.d.) and 59% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch (Texas Education Agency, 2017).

Central Research Question

The CAAP program is centered on a curriculum and training protocol that uses the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders as the foundation for mentoring and professional development of academy candidates. Researchers seek to understand “what are the perceptions of the Assistant Principals in Dallas ISD participating in a year-long professional development and coaching program in improving their leadership capacity and what is the impact on student acheivement?”  The significance of the study is to understand the impact of coaching and training on the professional growth of assistant principals and measure the impact of their learning on student achievement. In addition to providing coaching and support for academy participants, the UNT-Dallas researchers will study the effectiveness of the program and measure the impact of the training on the participants and on student success.

Research Methods and Implications

Participants will be asked to support these efforts through surveys, pre and post-interviews, interviews with coaches who support the assistant principals in the cohort, and analysis of data provided by CAAP participants. At the conclusion of the academy, researchers will seek to understand the following:

  1. How do assistant principals perceive leadership coaching on their leadership development?
  2. How do participants in a leadership development program apply the coaching concepts learned in the program?
  3. Does participation in the program improve assistant principals personnel evaluation scores?
  4. What is the perception of experienced assistant principals on the level of influence that they have on their campus?

Researchers will use a mixed methods design to determine the effectiveness of the program through a collection of qualitative data using principal evaluation scores and qualitative data using interviews, observations, and surveys. The data will be analyzed and interpreted to measure the impact of the academy on the professional growth of the participants and to measure that impact on student achievement.

Principal Investigators

Dr. Jerry Burkett, Assistant Dean for the School of Education at the University of North Texas at Dallas will lead the research for the academy. His primary roles are to work with Dallas ISD to recruit potential candidates for the program, recruit coaches to support the candidates, and design the training protocol for the academy.  In addition, Dr. Burkett will manage the logistics of scheduling, budgeting, and development and distribution of materials for the program.  Lastly, Dr. Burkett will lead the research study and data collection for the project.

Dr. Sonya Hayes, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership for Louisiana State University, will support the research and data collection for the program.  Dr. Hayes will design surveys and research questions for qualitative analysis of the program and participate in interview sessions with academy candidates and coaches working in the program. Dr. Hayes will also design and train the coaches selected to support the assistant principals in the cohort (1617).

For Information about CAAP or the Educational Leadership Program at UNT-Dallas


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