Date of Award

Summer 7-25-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Barbara Strobert, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Anthony Colella, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Edward Westervelt, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Virginia Stillson, Psy.D.


assistant principal motivation, principal accountability, factors influence desire for career mobility, Self-Determined Motivation Theory


The purpose of this study was to examine assistant principals with five or more years of experience and investigate the factors that influence their decision to pursue a school principal position. The study examined Self-Determined Motivation Theory and identified components that influence assistant principal motivation. The study found that assistant principals have a high level of self-efficacy and believe in their ability to positively impact educational organizations. The study also found that accountability pressures of Achieve NJ and No Child Left Behind influence the perception of the school principal role and limit the attractiveness of the position among career assistant principals. The study also found that assistant principals enjoy the role of implementation regarding school programs and vision. Assistant principals appreciate the ability to remain in close contact with students and all components of school leadership and see the school principal position as limiting what they find to be most enjoyable as school administrators. This study included ten assistant principals with five or more years experience from all grade spans, socioeconomic status, and demographic groups but was limited to Middlesex County, New Jersey.