Career decision making of educational administrators and roles of educational administrator preparation programs

2008 2008

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Using expectancy theory as the foundation of the conceptual model, this study examined factors that influenced the career decisions of enrolled students and graduates of three educational administrator programs to apply for a preparation program; apply for an educational administrative position; and, accept a job offer. In addition, the study investigated if individuals' expectancies changed over time, as well as the role of educational administrator preparation programs in their career decision-making.

A mixed methods research approach utilizing both survey and interviews in a two-stage data gathering process was employed. The findings indicate that individuals' attraction to administration come from a confluence of factors. They aspire to go into administration in order to fulfill their goals, to broaden their knowledge base and for personal growth and professional development. The perceptions that people have regarding their ability to perform a leadership role has a significant influence on their decision making. However, many people turn to their school administrators, rather than use their own expectancies, as sources of information about how to act. Their self-confidence is reinforced through the encouragement of their school administrators and their involvement in quasi-administrative responsibilities.

The trend at the three key career stages reveals that people's expectancies change over time. Their perceived values and beliefs are either modified, changed or confirmed through continual socialization processes such as university learning activities, internships and work experiences. In addition, personal characteristics (such as gender and ethnicity) and the social norms in their environment can influence expectancies.

Findings also indicate that an educational leadership preparation program can empower aspiring administrators to define a set of values they support, to change their views of leadership, to get a better sense of their leadership capabilities and to construct a personal leadership identity. The learning experiences from a preparation program are reflected in how school administrators lead their schools as well as impact their school cultures, teachers, and students. A preparation program also helps its students and graduates establish a network, from which they form a supportive group during their study, their job search and their work.

Indexing (details)

School administration;
Teacher education;
Higher education;
Decision making models
0514: School administration
0530: Teacher education
0745: Higher education
Identifier / keyword
Education; Administrator preparation; Career decisions; Leadership development; Roles of leadership programs
Career decision making of educational administrators and roles of educational administrator preparation programs
Hu, Lijuan
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Jacobson, Stephen
State University of New York at Buffalo
Education, Leadership & Policy
University location
United States -- New York
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.