Aspiring Principals Program Model


Our flagship program, the Aspiring Principals Program (APP) is a nationally-recognized, standards-based program that uses experiential learning methods to develop the real-world skills necessary for effective school leadership. The program helps aspiring leaders become the change agents who can inspire teachers and foster educational equity.

Originating in New York City and graduating more than 500 principals to date, APP has since been fully adapted in Arizona, Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, Ohio and Minnesota, and components of the program have been adapted by over 20 additional clients nationally. NYCLA uses an intentional design and delivery approach and we refine the program to match local context.

NYCLA has introduced an online component to complement our in-person sessions for our New York City APP program. We will leverage learning from this initiative as we continue to create blended experiences on behalf of our clients.

The NYC Leadership Academy’s Aspiring Principals Program (APP) has four distinct phases:


Contact us for more information on our APP model.

APP Development and Enhancement

Our team works side-by-side with clients to improve existing programs for aspiring principals or to build resources from the ground up. Clients can replicate any and all APP phases or select from the comprehensive portfolio of services outlined below:


  • Design Curriculum and Facilitate Learning: Develop the skills of your own staff to prepare, train and support aspiring leaders. We work side by side with you to develop experiential, problem-based curricula and learning environments that are sustainable and responsive to local contexts.
  • Develop Standards Framework: Establish a school leadership framework that identifies the skills, knowledge and dispositions that a school leader needs to drive student achievement. Comprehensive, behavior-based standards are the foundation for our principal training programs, from recruitment and selection to curriculum and program design. We can address local leadership standards by adapting our School Leadership Framework or help you build one from the ground up.
  • Build Strong Candidate Pool and Cohort Selection: Create a targeted, strategic process for recruiting a strong candidate pool and selecting a cohort ready to tackle the program. We’ve learned by doing, and know how to recruit and select candidates who are both highly qualified and committed to social justice.
  • Develop Program Design, Structure and Implementation: Develop the model and align your resources to support your vision for sustainable school leadership development. We help you (1) establish infrastructures (programmatic, financial, etc.) that support learning and (2) design an implementation strategy to get program buy-in.
  • Train and Support Mentor Principals: We work with you to develop mentor principals who prepare aspiring principals for the day-to-day realities of school leadership during their residency or internship. It is one of the most critical components to a new principal's success. The internship provides aspiring principals with standards-based learning opportunities. An investment in mentor principals is a gift that keeps on giving; it prepares aspiring principals to assume the new role while increasing district capacity and sustainability of work.
  • Design and Conduct Program Assessment and Evaluation: Assess the effectiveness and impact of the program through evaluation. This informs program improvement and establishes accountability for results.

Contact us for more information or to build and enhance your local program.

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