Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Joseph F. Marcoline, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

Cathy Kaufman, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Crystal Machado, Ed.D.


The purpose of this study was to feature the induction experiences of new principals and assistant principals and whether or not this experience supported the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to be effective building level leaders. More specifically, it provided an exploration of the PIL induction program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Also, the perceptions of new building level leaders were explored through adult learning theory and professional learning standards. Qualitative methodology was chosen for this study to investigate the perspectives of new principals and assistant principals towards their induction experiences in school leadership. This phenomenological study explored the adult learning and mentoring experiences of acting public school principals and assistant principals. Phenomenology was used because it best described the essence of the core phenomenon, the PIL induction program and PPMN mentoring experience. Since the professional development of school principals and assistant principals is evolving, evidence regarding program components was necessary to meet the knowledge and skill needs of future building level leaders. The findings of this study indicate that new building level leaders seek professional development experiences which support the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the principalship. Professional development for new principals and assistant principals has been neglected when compared to the teaching profession. In order to support the needs of new building level leaders, professional development must support an understanding of the goal of the experience. Additionally, collaborative relationships, such as mentoring, generate networks for new principals to navigate the tasks and responsibilities of building leadership. Also, career-staged professional development experiences need to incorporate problem-solving experiences tied directly to the position and the ability to utilize data for school improvement. Finally, school systems must begin to commit to the professional development of its new leaders.