Pathway to Leadership Principal Preparation Program

The Office of Leadership Development at the School District of Philadelphia, in partnership with Temple University and The University of Pennsylvania, is proud and excited to announce the formal launch of the Pathway to Leadership Principal Preparation Program. The first cohort of this unique opportunity began in the summer of 2022, and combines traditional principal certification preparation classwork, coaching, and mentorship, as well as tailored and specific training to prepare strong leaders within the School District of Philadelphia. Our program seeks to diversify the pipeline of leaders seeking assistant principal and principal roles within the School District of Philadelphia. We invite future equity-centered leaders of all backgrounds, and strongly encourage future leaders of color to apply for the second cohort (see below).

The Program Provides: 

  • Significantly subsidized tuition (one time $25,000 scholarship) for a principal certification through Temple University or The University of Pennsylvania
  • Assigned mentorship with a School District of Philadelphia (SDP) Principal
  • Coaching support from the District’s Office of Leadership Development on SDP focused competencies
  • Regular after school workshops strategically designed to set new leaders up for success with SDP-specific practices
  • A supportive cohort model with other developing leaders

Candidates Should Be:

  • Currently employed within SDP and committed to being a leader within the School District of Philadelphia for a minimum of three (3) years after the completion of the program
  • Dedicated to equity with a particular interest in eventually leading a neighborhood Elementary, Middle, or Comprehensive High School
  • Currently serving in a leadership capacity (eg. teacher leader, coach, climate manager, building rep, SPECM)
  • Willing to complete embedded coursework beginning in the summer following acceptance into the program, through the spring of the following year
  • Willing to complete an unpaid summer clinical experience
  • Available to attend classes in the evenings each term commencing in the summer session
  • Prepared to apply for a school principal or assistant principal position in the SDP upon completion of the certification program
  • Willing to complete additional courses at their own expense to complete a master’s degree program if the candidate does not already hold a master’s degree in a related field

How to Apply: 

The Office of Leadership Development is now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 Pathway to Leadership cohort! Please visit this information sheet to access more details about the program, information session dates, and the application. The application will close on February 12th, 2024.


Please contact Lauren Miller, Office of Leadership Development,, if you have questions.