Newsroom
Robert Morris University

Helping Teachers Become Principals

State grant supports certification training to produce more administrators for high-needs schools.

RMU

"All four of the graduates from last year’s class are now principals or assistant principals in high-needs schools now. And we have similar expectations for this year’s cohort as well."

Supported by a state education grant of nearly $200,000, Robert Morris University will train seven teachers from high-needs schools this year to become principals

The principal residency program expansion grant is one of four announced in August by Gov. Tom Wolfe, along with awards to Lehigh and Millersville universities and the University of Pennsylvania.

This marks the second year RMU has received state support to train aspiring principals for their certification while supporting them through a year of clinical experience on the job. Four teachers from Propel Charter Schools participated last year in the program, entitled “Leadership by Design: Expanding Principal Certification for the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Corps.”

“All four of the graduates from last year’s class are now principals or assistant principals in high-needs schools now. And we have similar expectations for this year’s cohort as well,” said Vicki Donne, education professor and department head overseeing the project for the School of Nursing, Education and Human Studies.

This year’s participants are all teachers and aspiring principals in high-need schools, defined as those with more than 35 percent minority enrollment or more than 50 percent of students qualifying for free or reduced price lunches. They receive full scholarships for their certification training.

“Year-long clinical residency programs offer a greater level of involvement in classrooms and schools, providing novice teachers and principals with vital, hands-on experience that will make them better educators and will increase the likelihood that they remain in the profession,” said state Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera in a statement.