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Thursday, January 12, 2017

SDSU Gets $7 Million to Strengthen Principal Preparation

Doug Fisher

San Diego State University is one of seven universities that have been chosen to participate in a new $47 million initiative to improve preparation of principals.

The funds, distributed over the next four years, will help SDSU to develop new models for principal preparation programs and encourage higher-quality training across the state.

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., professor and chair of the College of Education (COE) Department of Educational Leadership, said SDSU will receive more than $7 million to revise, redesign and improve COE’s administrative credentialing program.

“Our goal is to improve the experiences that students have at SDSU and to deliver well-prepared people who can be successful principals,” Fisher said.

Launched this year by the Wallace Foundation, the University Principal Preparation Initiative will fund university programs that serve districts with large numbers of disadvantaged students.

“This important multi-year grant will help ensure that our partner districts have excellent school leaders, provide a model for statewide implementation of new administrator preparation standards and elevate the standing of our educational leadership program across the nation,” said Joseph F. Johnson, Jr. dean of the College of Education.  “We can all be proud of Doug Fisher and the Educational Leadership Department for their outstanding effort in pursuing and acquiring this grant!”

Fisher stated that SDSU, the only university in California to receive a grant, will work with Sweetwater Union High School District, Chula Vista Elementary School District and San Diego Unified School District to determine the changes needed so that students in those districts have a fair shot at a high-quality education.

SDSU will also be working with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the University of Washington, which has very good score in their principal credentialing program.

Fisher indicated that SDSU has already conducted a self-study to identify the parts that work and the areas that need to be improved.

“We are very good at how we select students for the principal credentialing program and how we provide mentoring programs,” said Fisher.

The grant, Fisher said, came at a perfect time because starting in 2018, California principals will need to take and pass a performance assessment.

“We’re looking at redesigning the course-load so that students can have a good chance of success at passing this assessment,” Fisher concluded.