Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Edgar A. Kelley

Second Advisor

Dr. George DePillo

Third Advisor

Dr. David Cowden


In this study, Michigan public school principals reported their evaluative perceptions regarding: (a) the degree to which 9 of the 12 generic skills were developed in their university administrator programs, (b) the frequency and effectiveness of the instructional modes used to develop these generic skills, and (c) the ideal instructional modes which are most effective for developing these skills.

Both this replicated study with revisions and the completed Texas A&M University project (Witters-Churchill, 1988) were based upon recommendations made by the National Association of Secondary School Principals' Performance-Based Consortium.

The population of this study, 3,202 principals from Michigan public schools, were potential participants for a survey used to gather the data. A stratified sampling procedure was used to select 347 practicing public school administrators. The number of surveys mailed out were 116, 116, and 115 (n = 347) on surveys A, B, and C, respectively.

For the purposes of validation, a follow-up telephone interview of 10% of the actual respondents was conducted. This "informed subsample" verified and provided a reliability check of the data obtained from the sample, as well as enriching written data. The low return rate (48%) was a source of concern for the interpretation of findings. Data were analyzed and the patterns of responses were similar to the Witters-Churchill (1988) study. The findings are reported but should be interpreted with caution.

Principals reported moderate development of four of the nine generic skills (judgment, leadership, organizational ability, and problem analysis). Three skills were slightly developed (decisiveness, sensitivity, and written communication). Principals perceived two skill areas (oral communication and stress tolerance) as not developed.

Lecture and discussion was the most frequently used instructional mode. Most of the rated instructional modes used were reported as moderately effective.

Principals preferred the internship as the ideal instructional mode. The respondents recommended an improved and increased requirement of field-based experiences (internship, externship, and cohort opportunities). Respondents also asked for a practical curriculum delivered by professors having credible, first-hand, educational knowledge and experience.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access