National Mentor Training and Certification Program

NAESP Mentor logo

Professional development created for principals and administrators to strengthen their leadership skills in order to provide support and guidance to the next generation of school leaders.

NAESP’s National Mentor Training and Certification Program offers a highly structured professional development program designed to create a cadre of mentors whose expertise is channeled to support school leaders. The training program integrates research-based best practices with participants’ knowledge and experiences. The program can be customized according to a school district’s specific needs.


The National Mentor Training and Certification Program is comprised of two parts.

Part One: Leadership Immersion Institute (LII).

The 2-day LII is the opening event of the program. Participants explore the theoretical foundations of adult development and learning, and the mentoring process. Once grounded in these foundations, the participants learn various practical techniques and strategies to use with the mentor/protégé relationship. Participants receive 15 professional development hours for completing the LII.

Pics from a Mentor Training session

The six modules explored during the LII are:

  1. Mentoring New School Leaders: A Journey of Discovery
  2. Leading in a Culture of Change: Leadership Standards at Work
  3. Discovering Your Strengths
  4. The Art and Science of Adult Learning
  5. The Art of Effective Feedback
  6. Foundations of Effective Mentor Programs

Part Two: Mentor Certification Program

Upon completion of the LII, participants who choose to pursue National Certification will transition into the nine-month Mentor-in-Training (MIT) internship. The process begins with the MIT selecting a protégé who agrees to work with the MIT for the duration of the internship. Each month, the mentor and protégé interact (electronically or face-to-face) for a total of 72 contact hours. The MIT reports their work to the coach who has been assigned to his/her cohort of MITs. Online chats or conference calls are held monthly for MITs and coaches to discuss the mentoring process, lessons learned, and recommendations. A final project regarding the mentoring process is required.

Award of Certification

Participants who attend the Leadership Immersion Institute AND successfully complete the Mentor-in-Training internship are awarded a National Mentor Certificate. This certification is renewable after three years.

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 the Association’s Mentor Competencies.

Experiences That Make a Difference

Principals and educators from the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Houston, TX share their positive experiences having participated in NAESP's National Mentor Training and Certification Program.

Schedule & Registration

NAESP is currently planning the training schedule for the 2019-20 academic year. Please continue to check back for the most current training opportunities available.

For more information or if you are interested in setting up a mentoring training in your area please contact Katie Earley at or 703-518-6264. Click here to download the program flyer.


Pics from a Mentor Training session
  • To provide the support that novice, newly hired, aspiring, and turnaround principals must have to fully develop their leadership skills through ongoing, consistent, individualized professional development opportunities and expert coaching with highly-qualified mentors.
  • To create a core of experienced principals with the appropriate skills and tools to promote leadership consistent with the Leading Learning Communities Standards for What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do.
  • To create a model for instructional leadership mentor training which is consistent with professional standards and addresses the specific needs of school principals and administrators.


How to coach strong school principals

Pics from a Mentor Training sessionDistrict Administration Magazine
Principal preparation programs continue to place more demands on candidates, in some cases requiring a yearlong internship. When the time comes to assume the role, no amount of preparation can prepare a person for what lies ahead. The constant demands, interruptions, rules, pressure and stress can wear down even the most resilient person. In a Rand Corporation study of first-year principals, researchers found that 107 of 519 new principals left the profession within two years. Read more.

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

View the Webinar.

Download the PowerPoint presentation.

Mentor Training Video from Long Beach, CA

Mentor Training Video from Gilbert, AZ

Certification Renewal

Pics from a Mentor Training sessionNational Mentor Certification is valid for three years and may be renewed through participation at a Recertification Training session. This 1-day training is focused on renewing and updating knowledge and skills based on the most recent information and research in the field of mentoring. The learning may include an optional follow-up activity to include reflection and discussion experiences for participants. This continued work will further the exploration of the Professional Standards for Education Leaders 2015.

Registration Fees

NAESP Mentor Program Registration Fees


For more information or if you are interested in setting up mentoring training in your area please contact Katie Earley at or 703-518-6264.

National Mentor Training and Certification Program™ Flyer

Mentor Brochure.