Principal Pipeline

Principals have embraced the need for increased emphasis on social-emotional learning because they know it will benefit all students and have profound effects on student learning. That is why NAESP is pushing for the advancement of funding and programming that promotes social and emotional learning and provides support to principals so that it can be integrated into practice.


Principals are second only to classroom instruction in school-related influences on student learning—and are central to meeting expectations for turning around low-performing schools. To effectively meet these challenges and help close equity and achievement gaps, principals need focused preparation and ongoing support as they navigate the ever-changing realities of the job.A more deliberate approach to cultivating and supporting new school leaders—a principal pipeline made up of four aligned parts—offers a strategy to improve schools districtwide and boost principal retention.
NAESP believes that:
icon box image

The role of the principal demands a high level of professional preparation and continuing growth;
icon box image

All states should require principals to be licensed or certified according to standards that align with research on effective school leadership;
icon box image

School districts and preparation programs should provide opportunities for additional internships, peer coaching, job shadowing, networking, and mentorships for aspiring principals; and
icon box image

Early career principals and administrators changing levels (e.g., high school to elementary) should receive mentoring and professional learning opportunities.

Take Action

NAESP focuses on improving the policies and programs that affect how principals are prepared in pre-service programs.Visit NAESP’s Advocacy Action Center to see how you can support your students and school.

Did You Know?

Submit site search