Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education


Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Dennis A. Bunch

Second Advisor

Susan McClelland

Third Advisor

Kerry Holmes

Relational Format



As a result of the competitive principal market and the varying qualities of a perfect job applicant, information is critical to job candidates, educational leadership program developers, and superintendents or members of school hiring committees. Informed by research from the fields of industry and education, this study utilized explanatory sequential mixed methods design to identify and describe the process, the participants, and the prominent factors involved in the selection of principals for k-12 schools in Mississippi. Non-parametric quantitative analysis and qualitative thematic coding were used in seeking to answer four critical related questions for those seeking to find effective school leaders, those candidates seeking to fill those leadership roles, and the educational leadership program developers preparing candidates to present themselves as capable and ready to lead schools: What factors are most significant as superintendents select a principal candidate for recommendation to hire? Do leaders of districts lower in the work queue—low-achieving or high poverty districts—make selections in a different manner or with a different set of expectations than districts higher in the work queue? How do some districts utilize human resource or personnel directors regarding the selection of principals? How do human resource or personnel directors involved in the selection process perceive their contributions?


Emphasis: Education Leadership (K-12)



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