Albany State, Virginia State Named to $47 Million National Principal Training Initiative

Albany State University and Virginia State University were this week announced as part of a national consortium of institutions which will study elements and models of successful secondary education leadership development.

Funded by a $47 million, four-year funding commitment from The Wallace Foundation, seven colleges and universities will examine state policy and develop training programs for aspiring secondary principals to encourage sustainable leadership in vulnerable schools and systems. Schools will report findings from their research and programming to policymakers and practitioners at federal and state levels to encourage best practice in education reform.

Virginia State University will receive $2.41 million in the first year of the program to partner with public school systems in Henrico County, Hopewell City and Sussex County to develop research and internship programs for aspiring principals.

Albany State University will partner with Dougherty County, Pelham City and Calhoun County over four years and $7.75 million to redesign the college’s Educational Leadership program, with an emphasis on regional standards and practices for principal training.

Executives from both schools expressed support for the national initiative.

“I would like to thank the Wallace Foundation for selecting Virginia State University as a partner to assist in increasing the number of principals who are well prepared to guide and lead schools in not only the Commonwealth of Virginia but also the nation,” said VSU President Makola M. Abdullah.

“We have proposed a program that is performance-based where we take the training out of the ivory towers and into the school systems where our students will be paired with mentors and coaches that will allow them to apply the principles of excellent school leadership,” said Deborah Bembry, professor and chair of the Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership, and principal investigator for the initiative. “With the university, districts and state working together, we will produce a model of principal preparation that can be used across the state and even the nation.”

Other institutions selected for the partnership include Florida Atlantic University, North Carolina State University, San Diego State University, the University of Connecticut and Western Kentucky University.

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