The Intentions of Florida Educational Leadership Graduate Students to Pursue Administrative Positions

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TITLE The Intentions of Florida Educational Leadership Graduate Students to Pursue Administrative Positions
RESEARCHER Daniel W. Eadens
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
College of Education
University of South Florida
Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: November 2010

The purpose of this study was to analyze factors that influence the intentions of educational leadership graduate students enrolled in university educational leadership programs in Florida.

This sample consisted of graduate students currently enrolled in one of seven educational leadership programs located in the Tampa Bay (Florida) metropolitan area and five surrounding counties. A total of 217 respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and a survey regarding demographics and intentions about seeking an assistant principal position. The typical respondent was on average between 31-35 years old, a female (76%), Caucasian (84%), currently a teacher (75%), working in a public school setting (60%), without experience as a guidance counselor or special education teacher (74%), with 5-9 years of teaching experience (44%), and holding a bachelor’s degree (77%). Internal reliability for the LPI in this study was .70 Enable, .71 Model, .82 Challenge, .83 Inspire, and .85 Encourage, with an overall Cronbach’s alpha of .94.

No significant relationship was found between graduate students’ intent to seek an assistant principal position and their scores on any of the five leadership practices. Multiple regression analyses showed no relationship between intentions and any of the independent variable combined (gender, number of credits successfully completed, age and leadership practices). Post-hoc analysis did reveal differences between those with low and high intentions and leadership practices, with the latter groups’ scores on all five practices being significantly higher than those reported by the former. Overall, Enabling was the leadership practice most frequently engaged in by respondents, followed by Model, Encourage, Challenge and Inspire.