Bon Ike


In California, graduate-level school leadership degrees and credentialing programs prepare primarily K-12 traditional public school principals (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 2012). The number and diversity of K-12 nontraditional schools in Los Angeles County, predominantly charter schools, have increased. Therefore, unique skills are necessary to continue serving and meeting the increasing needs in K-12 nontraditional schools. The purpose of this study is to explore the skills needed to administer nontraditional schools, as "the role of the principal has become dramatically more complex, overloaded, and unclear over the past decade" (Fullan, 1991, p. 144). Two research questions guided this study. First, what skills do principals perceive to be needed for the administration of nontraditional schools? Second, what skills do principals perceive to be most difficult to acquire, thus requiring training and development? Educational policymakers, members of credentialing commissions, leaders of non-profit organizations, and researchers have shown interest in the skills of principals as educational leaders (Kafka, 2009). Some studies shared that approximately 25% of student achievement has a direct relationship with educational leadership actions (Borsuk, 2010; Kafka, 2009). There are some efforts from state and federal levels to improve the skills of school administrators and leadership preparation programs such as the Race to The Top (R2T) Program. In addition, colleges, local educational agencies, non-profit organizations, and universities across the United States are improving educational leadership programs (Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2008). This study's methodology was qualitative grounded theory, which produced six skills sets needed for the administration of nontraditional schools as a substantive-level theory. The second emerged substantive-level theory is that the collaboration and decision-making skills sets are difficult skills sets to acquire. As a result, frameworks, implementations, dispositions, and adaptations of educational programs for the increasing needs of nontraditional schools should focus on enhancing these difficult skills sets. Theoretically, this study adds to the body of literature for individuals, institutions, education review boards, credentialing commissions, and accreditation organizations. Moreover, this study contributes to educational leadership programs, thus it is vastly recommended for further research, expansion, and implementation in its entirety.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration, and policy; School management and organization; School principals -- Training of

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Barner, Robert R.;