Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Christopher Trombly

Second Committee Member

Dr. Terry Nichols

Third Committee Member

Dr. Mary Ann Spears

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Jeff Robertson


This qualitative research study, using survey research methods, examined the extent to which Arkansas school district superintendents believe that their university-based preparation programs adequately prepared them for the superintendency in Arkansas. An online survey containing a Likert scale was used to determine participants’ perceptions of their programs. The survey instrument also included open-ended questions to enable participants to provide additional feedback related to their superintendent programs. The findings show that 80.7% of participants stated that they would recommend their superintendent preparation programs to aspiring superintendents. The participants did, however, indicate areas where additional focus was needed. Those areas included the Arkansas funding matrix, finance, budgeting, special education, and technology. Areas where participants felt the programs were sufficient were instructional leadership, community relations, board relations, and legal issues.