Principal Preparation Program

Welcome from Dr. Carmen Coleman!
Dr. Coleman is the Program Coordinator for the Principal Preparation program. Feel free to send her an email if you have any questions about the program or about planning a course of study.

Program Description

The Principal Preparation Program offered by the Department of Educational Leadership Studies in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky works in partnership with the College of Education Next Generation Leadership Academy to offer graduate credit for Academy participants and scholarships which cover the first nine hours of tuition.

The program is designed to meet Level I and Level II principal certification requirements and leads to an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree.

Scholarships Available

Through scholarship funds, 20 candidates will have the chance to earn the 9 of the required 30 credit hours through participation in the Next Generation Leadership Academy for only the cost of the Academy. A student’s school or school district usually takes on Academy costs. Thanks to this opportunity, our program is now one of the most affordable in the State of Kentucky.

Your First Year: The Academy Year

Twelve graduate credit hours will be earned in your first year though participation in the Next Generation Leadership Academy. Candidates will work in small groups with principal program faculty who serve as mentors. These mentors will ensure a personalized experience while interweaving course content with the six critical attributes that form the foundation of the Next Generation Leadership Academy: (1) clear and high expectations, (2) customized pathways, (3) competency-based learning, (4) anywhere/anytime learning, (5) comprehensive systems of supports, and (6) a strong focus on student agency.

In addition to attending the Next Generation Leadership Academy sessions throughout the year, candidates will be expected to complete required weekly graduate level assignments, delivered online via modules within the University of Kentucky’s online course system, Canvas, and assessed by your faculty mentors. Assignments will relate to both course and Academy content.

After Your Academy Year

Once you have completed your 12 graduate hours in your Academy year, the remaining 21 hours required for principal certification will be provided in a blended format consisting of both on-line and face-to-face sessions delivered via the Department of Educational Leadership Studies by University of Kentucky faculty

Courses will be offered in an order to allow candidates who begin in the Fall 2015 Next Generation Leadership Academy to complete Level 1 certification by December of 2016.

The entire program, if you stay on schedule, takes XX semesters, at the end of which you will have earned Level 1 Certification and an Education Specialist degree from the University of Kentucky.

Your Commitment

Candidates will be asked to sign a letter of acceptance for the scholarship funds covering nine (9) of the 12 required Next Generation Leadership Academy hours. This acceptance letter includes language that requires candidates to complete the principal certification program at the University of Kentucky.


To be eligible for admission to this graduate program, candidates must:

Be a participant in the Next Generation Leadership Academy.

Qualify for or hold a Kentucky teaching certificate,

Have successfully completed at least three years full-time teaching in P12 setting,

Have successfully completed a master’s degree in education with cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale,

Be recommended by a superintendent or other district-level administrator who attests to applicant’s educational leadership and professionalism, and

Aspire to serve as a principal in a P12 school.

Highly recommended, but not mandatory: Have completed a graduate-level basic statistics course with a grade of B higher

Fall 2015 Application Deadline: August 12, 2015

ContactDr. Carmen Coleman at, or by phone at 859-351-5026, to find out how you can participate in the Next Generation Leadership Academy if your district is not already participating.

Before August 12, 2015 apply to the Graduate School as a post baccalaureate (POBA) student. The application can be found here:

Information can be found here about the POBA category:

Courses completed through the Academy include the following: EDL 706 and EDL 709 (fall, 2015) and EDL 707 and EDL 646 (spring, 2016). Candidates should register for these courses following the University’s designated registration periods.

Full Enrollment as a Degree Seeking Student

In late 2015-early 2016, candidates will need to apply for EDL program admission in order to continue working toward principal certification and the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree. We provide information about this process to enrolled students during the fall semester.


If you have questions as you complete the required applications, register for courses and/or about any part of the revised program, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Carmen Coleman at or by phone, 859-351-5026.

Program Faculty

Dr. Justin Bathon
Dr. Lars Bjork
Dr. Carmen Coleman
Dr. Tricia Browne-Ferrigno
Linda France
Dr. Wayne Lewis
Dr. John Nash
Dr. Beth Rous
Dr. Lu Young