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Program for new principals named among state's innovative programs

Kristen B. Morales

October 20, 2015


A report from the Governor's Office of Student Achievement has highlighted a College of Education program that helps train new principals.

The Innovation Fund Profiles report features five programs of the 23 that received funding from Georgia's Innovation Fund, a $19.4 million competitive grant program. The UGA/GAEL Early Career Principal Residency Program was deemed one of the five "promising practices" by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement; the list also includes the KIPP Teachers Fellow Program, the Morehouse College Student Applied Learning New Teacher Induction and Staff Leadership Program, the Gwinnett STEM Targeted Educational Program Academy and the Tift County Mechatronics Partnership.

The Early Career Principal Residency Program, created to meet the needs of new school leaders, is an 18-month program that covers topics such as creating a vision, leading change, conflict resolution, data-driven decision making and school culture and climate. It is open to principals who have been in their post for less than three years, and participants continue to receive support through a network of mentor principals throughout the state.

Because the $2,500 program fee could be cost prohibitive, the program, which is sponsored by the UGA College of Education and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, received an Innovation Fund grant to offset the costs for its second cohort.

"ECPRP has shown great promise as a comprehensive induction program for newly-minted school leaders, with evidence of gains on the College and Career Ready Performance Index, increased self-efficacy and improved leadership capacity among program participants," the report states.

The Innovation Fund provided grants to programs focused on K-12 learning, teacher and leader induction programs, increasing the teacher and leader pipeline, or developing or expanding STEM-focused charter schools. The Innovation Fund came from a $400 million grant awarded to Georgia from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Race to the Top initiative.