Learning Center

Recruiting and retaining top-quality principals is a tough job. New and even experienced principals need support. With high-stakes accountability and increasing demands on school leaders, principal mentors—retired and active seasoned professionals—provide a crucial support system, offering advice and counsel to fellow principals.

The NAESP National Mentor Training and Certification Program is designed to engage retired and experienced principals to give back to their profession by supporting new, newly assigned, or even experienced principals through mentoring.

The National Mentor Training and Certification Program has two components:

Leadership Immersion Institute

This 2 1/2 day event teaches principals and other administrators how to integrate best practices in mentoring and adult learning with participants’ experiences. Participants receive 15 continuing education or professional development units (CEUs/PDUs) for completing the Leadership Immersion Institute. 

National Principal Mentor Certification Internship

Principals who choose certification will follow the institute with a nine-month Mentor-in-Training internship. Interns, under the caring and watchful eye of a trained coach, choose a protégé, engage in effective listening and questioning strategies, and provide guidance and support to new principals. Interns interact with coaches and other trainees through electronic bulletin boards, chats, and threaded discussions, as well as periodic portfolio submissions. Principals who complete both the institute and the internship are awarded national certification as a principal.  

This video, from the May 1, 2014, training in Lisle, Illinois, gives a snapshot of the NAESP Mentor Training Program. Here, a group of engaged, committed experienced principals work together to develop mentoring skills to coach and guide the next generation of school leaders.

Register for these upcoming mentor trainings

Savannah, GA November 13-15, 2014

Austin, TX January 22-24, 2015

Providence, RI April 30-May 2, 2015

Long Beach, CA June 27-29, 2015

For more information or if you are interested in setting up mentoring training in your area please contact us at mentor@naesp.org or call (800) 386-2377. Click here to download the mentor brochure.

Connecting Leadership Standards

The mentor program applies the six standards from NAESP’s landmark document, Leading Learning Communities: Standards for What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do, Second Edition. To review the NAESP Mentor Competencies please click here. 

Participants are instrumental in:

• Creating a model for instructional leadership mentor training that is consistent with professional standards and addresses specific needs of school principals and other administrators.

• Ensuring leadership succession.

• Addressing the leadership needs of new/newly assigned principals.

• Responding to the growing national school leadership shortage.

• Promoting ongoing development of professional mentoring.

Mentor training provides a win-win situation for mentors and their protégés. Mentors give back to the profession while the protégé receives on-the-job training from an experienced principal.

NAESP Principals Help Line

Experienced principals can also volunteer for the NAESP Principals Help Line by answering questions and providing support online. Teams of principals monitor the Help Line and respond to everyday questions that our members ask. It is a great way to provide feedback and reflect on your own work as a school leader! For more information about how you can serve and be involved e-mail mentor@naesp.org.

Have a question? Get quick, confidential feedback from experienced principal mentors through our online Principals Help Line. Click here to submit a question.

Podcast: Making the Case for Mentoring

With high-stakes accountability and the ever-increasing demands placed on school leaders, the job of the principal has become more difficult than it's ever been. NAESP certified mentor, Kathleen Sciarappa, makes the case for principal mentoring - what it is, why it's needed, and how it can help both new and experienced principals.  Click here to watch Podcast.

NAESP Webinar: Enhancing Principals' Skills through Sustainable Mentoring Programs

Description: Learn how mentoring programs should be designed and operated to meet the most pressing needs of school leaders. Drawing on recently collected survey data and interviews from the field, you’ll find out how school leaders and district administrators can make a strong case for the establishment of a sustainable mentoring program.

Presenter: Lynn M. Scott, national leadership development consultant

Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation.

2014/2015 Training Schedule

Savannah, GA
November 13-15, 2014

Austin, TX
January 22-24, 2015

Providence, RI
April 30-May 2, 2015

Long Beach, CA
June 27-29, 2015

Registration Form


*New! Advanced Mentor Training*

Austin, TX
January 22-24, 2015

Advanced Mentor Training Registration Form


For more information on the NAESP National Mentor Training and Certification Program please contact us at mentor@naesp.org or call (800) 386-2377.