Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Teresa Jordan

Number of Pages



This study examined the professional development needs of high school principals for school improvement. Successful educational reform and school improvement within a high school ultimately hinges on the leadership skills of the principal. If schools are to successfully confront the complexities of a changing society and improve learning for students, then school leaders must be provided with professional development activities that improve their ability to lead schools through a school improvement process. The purpose of this study was to determine professional development needs of high school principals for school improvement and their preferred delivery system for that professional development. A questionnaire based on the ISSLC Standards and the NSSE framework for school improvement was used to determine their professional development needs. The study also identified the perceptions of state agency professional development providers regarding principals' professional development needs and compared their perceptions to principals' perceptions; The study found that the greatest needs for professional development were in the areas of Building Team Commitment and Creating a Learning Community. The findings also revealed that professional development needs differed significantly with all of the demographic characteristics that were examined. Principals reported that workshops and seminars/conferences were their most preferred delivery systems for their professional development. In addition, they indicated that on-line/self-paced and university coursework were the least preferred delivery methods. State agency personnel rated the training areas of Setting Goals and Determining Outcomes and Developing and Implementing Strategic Action Plans as areas of highest needs for principals. Both groups placed Facilitating the Change Process and Sustaining and Motivating for Continuous Improvement in the top five areas to be addressed; These findings provide direction for the development of professional development activities that will enhance the leadership skills that principals need to guide school reform and reach higher standards of student achievement. The investment of time and resources for the planning of an effective professional development program to enhance the educational leadership skills of high school principals to lead schools which are focused on continual improvement will greatly impact the ultimate quality of education for our students.


Development; High; High School Principals; Improvement; Principals; Professional; Professional Development; School Improvement

Controlled Subject

School management and organization; Education, Secondary

File Format


File Size

4874.24 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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