The Principal Preparation Program (PPP) is an 18-month program leading to principal certification in the State of Delaware.

Are you interested in becoming an assistant principal or principal?

The University of Delaware Principal Preparation Program is an 18-month program in the State of Delaware that provides the necessary requirements for assistant principal/principal certification. Each program component supports student development of five core competencies which align with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards:

  • Vision and Goals
  • Teaching, Learning and Community Supports for Students
  • People, Professional Staff, Families, and Community
  • Systems, Operations, and Management
  • Professional Norms and Ethics


  • Statewide cohort model utilizing a hybrid learning model;
  • Four core courses: Leadership for Today’s Students and Schools; Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction; Leadership for People, Systems & Operations; and Early Childhood Leadership;
  • Alignment to the Professional Standards for Educational Leadership, Delaware’s Leadership Standards
  • Two internship experiences totaling 240+ hours with principal mentors who have a proven track record of success;
  • DPAS II for Teachers credentialing including opportunities to practice giving feedback to educators;
  • Focused action research project focused on a real problem of practice in their school or district;
  • Seminars on current trends and issues in educational leadership
  • One year of leadership coaching following program completion & upon hire in a school leadership position

“As a Cohort 1 Graduate of the University of Delaware’s Principal Preparation Program, I am confident that I have received the right training to tackle the challenges of 21st century Educational Leadership to assure for success for all learners.”

Nathalie Princilus, Assistant Principal, Delcastle Technical High School,

Nathalie Princilus

Assistant Principal, Delcastle Technical High School, New Castle County Vo-Tech School District

Program Components

The UD PPP coursework, internships and action research project are integral components to the in-depth curriculum and hands-on participant experience.


The University of Delaware Principal Preparation Program consists of four sequential core courses that align with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards. Utilizing a hybrid model, course delivery of instruction includes both face-to-face and virtual classes. 

Course 1: Leadership for Today’s Students and Schools 

This course is an introduction to school leadership, focusing on the many requirements, expectations and demands required for a successful school leader.  Example topics include: leadership styles, establishment of vision, comprehensive school reform, equity-centered leadership, creating and communicating positive school culture, communication and climate.  

Course 2: Leadership for People, Systems, and Operations

This course uses a variety of interactive learning strategies to address the essential management related components to being a school leader. Example topics in this course include finance, legal issues, managing the negotiated agreement, school safety planning, administrative services, policies and protocol, and interviewing/hiring/supporting staff in an equity-centered environment.

Course 3: Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction 

This course is designed to cover the core tenets of the school leader’s role towards being a highly effective equity-centered instructional leader.  It examines the major themes of instructional leadership including, but not limited to, coaching staff, professional development, leveraging data, integrating technology, and allocating resources to support instructional improvement.

Course 4: Early Childhood Leadership 

This course focuses on helping future leaders develop a solid understanding of the many requirements, resources and supports necessary to provide a solid equity-centered early educational foundation for all students in Delaware.  Example topics include: early childhood policy, instructional leadership, evaluation and supervision in Pre-K to 3 settings, school readiness, appropriate instruction and assessment of young children, effective literacy instruction, creating a positive school culture, and family and community connections.

In addition to the 4 required courses, participants will receive training on Delaware’s educator evaluation system and have opportunities to practice and receive feedback. They will leave the  program as credentialed evaluators of educators.


UD PPP participants engage in a two-part internship totaling at least 240 hours, across two placements at different levels/grade bands, over the course of the 18-month program.  The internships are guided collaboratively by the participating student, assigned principal-mentors and their DASL internship mentor, who supports the students during their experiences. The internship placements provide students with relevant, standards-based experiences in actual school settings. 

Action Research Project

Throughout the span of the program, UD PPP participants are engaged in an action research related to a real-time challenge associated with their school or district. With guidance from program faculty and support from coursework, students are required to identify a Problem of Practice (POP), research, plan and implement a course of action to address their POP. Culminating in a Research Symposium, students conduct a 15-20 minute presentation to highlight the significant findings from their action research process.

Principal Preparation Program Faculty

  • Amy Grundy, Ed.D., Instructor and Lead Faculty
  • Alison Travers, Ed.D., Assistant Director of Delaware Academy for School Leadership
  • Ann Little, Ed.D., Instructor
  • Tracy Hudson, Instructor
  • LeRoy Whitehead, Instructor

Application Requirements

  • Transcripts from an accredited institution of higher learning indicating the candidate has earned a master’s degree, and a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Evidence of leadership in current and previous educator roles
  • Formative and summative performance evaluations demonstrating excellence as an educator for a minimum of five (5) years*
  • A writing sample
  • Three letters of recommendation (including one from a current supervisor)

For questions and inquires about the Principal Preparation Program, please contact Alison Travers at