Critical partners: Analysis of assistant principals' perceptions of their relationships and preparedness for the principalship

Shaniquia Lawaun Singletary-Dixon, Fordham University


The field of research has been expansive on the principal, their roles, and responsibilities. However, research on the assistant principal has been minimal. This study sought to examine the perceptions of the relationships, level of preparedness, job satisfaction, self-sufficiency, and career aspirations of the assistant principals working in various districts within the New York City Public school system. Data were obtained from an original survey instrument APPLE (Assistant Principals' Professional Leadership in Education ©), on the respondents' demographic, professional and school district profiles, along with their sense of efficacy, job satisfaction, relationships, roles and responsibilities and career aspirations. The survey was distributed to 400 New York City Public school assistant principals from all school levels throughout the 5 boroughs. The return rate was 246 (61.5%). The results revealed that the majority of assistant principals were Caucasian, and between the ages of 41 and 50 years old. The respondents expressed great satisfaction in their jobs as assistant principals and a strong sense of efficacy. The assistant principals with 1 to 10 years experience showed elevated aspirations to move into the principalship, while the older cohort perceived their present roles as satisfying. The respondents perceived themselves as having a strong relationship with their principals and teachers, as well as a strong sense of value. Recommendations were offered for university administration programs, school districts, and principals. They include: structuring and improving mentoring experiences for the assistant principal, supporting mentoring programs developed or created in part by acting assistant principals, and conducting a study to ascertain the articulation between university administration programs and school districts seeking qualified assistant principals.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|School administration

Recommended Citation

Singletary-Dixon, Shaniquia Lawaun, "Critical partners: Analysis of assistant principals' perceptions of their relationships and preparedness for the principalship" (2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3465678.