Learning Center







National Mentor Training and Certification Program

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 provide a crucial support system. Since 2003 NAESP has worked with close to 2,000 mentors across the country as well as globally, to engage highly-skilled and highly-trained mentors in leveraging their experience and expertise to develop new leaders. The NAESP Mentors recognize a gap between preparation and practice and has identified key issues that can be critical tipping points, such as managing time, creating a vision, maximizing interactions and teams, and combatting isolation. Being a new administrator brings challenges that are complex, multifaceted, and sometimes unexpected. Being in a mentoring relationship is a win-win for the protégé and the mentor as issues are explored.

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, aspiring, and experienced principals through mentoring.

The National Mentor Training and Certification Program has two components:

Leadership Immersion Institute  Mentor Training

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 the optional certification will follow the Leadership Immersion 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 mentor. Continuing professional development opportunities to renew this three year certification expands skills, networking, and collaborative learning to ensure that mentors are grounded in current research and leadership practices.

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

Berlin/Montpelier, VT August 12-14, 2015

If you are a Vermont principal or administrator, please contact Carol Riley at criley@naesp.org or Margaret Murphy at mmurphy@naesp.org.You may also contact Carol or Margaret by phone at 1-800-836-2377.

Alexandria, VA October 8-10, 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. For more detailed information about the program click here.

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.

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2015 Training Schedule

Berlin/Montpelier, VT
August 12-14, 2015

Alexandria, VA
October 8-10, 2015



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