Competency acquisition of principal interns

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan - Committee Chair


Purpose. The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine how principal interns acquired six of the nineteen Florida Principal Competencies of decisiveness, information search, management interaction, management control, organizational ability, and self presentation; and to determine what experiences, settings, situations, or activities promoted the development of these six competencies.Procedures. Sample selection consisted of sixteen Dade County Public School principal interns: ten elementary, four junior high, and two senior high. Interns responded to a structured, open-ended competency acquisition interview instrument. Qualitative and quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.Findings. (1) Two-thirds of the interns acquired the competencies by experiencing the six steps in Boyatzis' Competency Acquisition Model: recognition, understanding, self-assessment, experimentation, practice, job application. One-third of the interns followed the steps in the order posited by the model citied above; one-third altered that order. (2) The four most employed acquisition methods in descending order of frequency were: inservice workshops, college courses, observing and mimicking others, and being coached or mentored. (3) The five experiences promoting competency acquisition in descending order of frequency were: internships, assistant principalships, principalships, Leadership Experience Opportunities (LEO), and counseling positions.Conclusions. (1) Boyatzis' model and its components appear to describe the competency acquisition process for the majority of principal interns. (2) Attending inservice courses is a more viable competency acquisition method than other identified methods. (3) The internship experience more clearly promotes competency acquisition than other identified settings or experiences.


Education, Administration

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