Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. David Hoppey

Second Advisor

Dr. Amanda Kulp

Third Advisor

Dr. Cathy Atria

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Daniel Reyes-Guerra


In 2020, the National Association of Secondary School Principals revealed that a staggering 42 percent of principals plan on leaving the profession and that compounds the already alarming rate of teachers leaving the field (National Association of Secondary School Principals, 2020). More locally in Florida, the landscape of educational leadership has changed quickly also adding to this problematic exodus of principals. In order to better understand the principal experience in Florida, particularly with principal preparation, this study seeks to understand how principal preparation, specifically Level II certification preparation, influences efficacy once at the helm of a school. This research uses a modified version of Megan Tschannen-Moran’s Principal Sense of Efficacy Scale survey to gauge the perceptions of current principals to inform practice of preparation for leaders of tomorrow. Results reveal that descriptive statistics provided valuable insights into how principals across Florida perceive the impact of their preparation program on their effectiveness. Notably, the utilization of independent-samples t-tests uncovered a significant correlation between gender, particularly female gender, and principal perception. However, when examining the relationship between race and years of service through one-way ANOVA statistics, no significant connections were found, suggesting that these factors did not strongly influence principal perception of their preparation. In a conclusive manner, regression analysis indicated that gender, race, and years of service did not serve as significant influencers on principals' perceptions of their preparation program's efficacy impact. Overall, findings from this study indicate additional research is needed to better understand how efficacy can increase in not just all principals as the result of preparation but also specifically with female principals. Research consistently indicates that principals have the second greatest impact on student outcomes, just behind teachers. When Florida principals express only moderate confidence in their leadership abilities, it raises concerns about their performance in schools. This gap between theoretical knowledge and practical implementation negatively affects students, who deserve better. To address this issue, more attention should be given to developing robust preparation programs that are meaningful and impactful in shaping and sustaining effective principals. By doing so, we can ensure that students receive the best possible educational leadership and support for their academic journey.