Principal Preparation Program

Welcome from Dr. Lu Young!
Dr. Young 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.
Or click here to let us send the latest information on this program directly to your inbox.

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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.

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

Download our Quick Facts flyer about the program here.

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 meetings of the Next Generation Leadership Academy, candidates are 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 18 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

The course sequence is structured to allow candidates who begin in the fall semester (August) to complete Level 1 certification by December of the following year (approximately 16 months). The program plan for the principal program: EDL Principal Program–Curriculum Plan

The entire program, if you stay on schedule, takes four semesters, at the end of which you will have earned Level 1 Certification and an Education Specialist degree from 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 2018 Application Deadline: May 15, 2018

Contact Dr. Lu Young at , or by phone at (859) 321-3566, to find out how you can participate in the Next Generation Leadership Academy if your district is not already participating.

To be considered as a student in our principal preparation program, please apply before May 15, 2018. The application can be found here.


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. Lu Young at or by phone,(859) 321-3566.

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