Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Donald G. Hackmann


The purpose of this study was to investigate reasons why individuals licensed to be secondary administrators in the state of Iowa have not entered the profession, and to identify factors that would motivate them to consider administrative appointments. Data provided by the Iowa Department of Education identified a total of 385 individuals holding secondary principal licensure, who were employed as educators but were not serving in administrative positions. A total of 290 individuals completed a web-based questionnaire for a 75.32% response rate.;Pearson-product moment correlations, analysis of variance, and Spearman rho were used to test for relationships among variables. The study describes perceived barriers to the pursuit of a principalship, factors that motivated each to pursue principal licensure, perceived effectiveness of individuals' administrator preparation program, and factors that would alleviate a principal shortage.;A majority of Iowa's secondary principal candidates have been actively seeking administrative positions, with males tending to apply nearly twice as often as females. Significant findings included: (a) female respondents viewed secondary principalship licensure as a means to potential career advancement (internal, or long-term, motivation), whereas males tended to perceive their pursuit of the principalship as a means to bettering their personal status, particularly financial (external, or short-term, motivation); and (b) female respondents identified discrimination in age, gender, and stereotyping along with the lack of having an administrative mentor as significantly higher barriers than their male counterparts.;Respondents expressed that being geographically bound and the tremendous time commitment of the job were the largest barriers preventing them from pursuing a secondary principalship. Respondents indicated that the current financial rewards of the principalship are not commensurate with the job's responsibilities. They also felt strongly that the job needed to focus more on leadership than managerial duties, and that there were far too many responsibilities in the typical secondary principal's job description. Respondents to this study felt that their colleges or universities had provided them with only average to above average preparation for the principalship, yet they did not perceive the quality of their preparation as a deterrent to their quest to obtain an administrative position.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Theron J. Schutte



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

180 pages