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Browse the DEFINE, PREPARE, SELECT and SUPPORT pages linked above to learn more about paths toward school leadership and support for principals and assistant principals.

Because one-size-fits-all rarely fits anyone, there are a number of preparatory options for aspiring school leaders:


Lauren Fowler, Principal
Myers Park Traditional Elementary School
Leaders for Tomorrow Graduate

Leaders for Tomorrow

     This is a program aimed at current CMS teachers or certified employees who aspire to become executive school leaders in high-needs CMS schools. Administered by Winthrop University, potential leaders complete a 36-credit-hour accredited Master of Education in Educational Leadership degree and are qualified to receive a state certification. Courses are a combination of face-to-face and web-based instruction, and are delivered by Winthrop faculty in collaboration with CMS leaders. The program includes 6 semesters of coursework with a full one-year internship experience embedded prior to the completion of the program.


Jeff Joyce, Assistant Principal
Piedmont Open Middle
SELA Graduate

School Executive Leadership Academy (SELA) at Queens University

    A partnership between the McColl School of Business and the Cato School of Education, this innovative 14-month licensure program is designed to arm potential school executives with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead change in our schools. SELA participants will be eligible to receive the NC school administration license and may earn graduate credit hours towards a Master of School Administration, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Organization Development or Master of Science in Executive Coaching degree.


LeDuan Pratt, Principal
Carmel Middle School
UNCC Aspiring High School Principals Program Graduate

UNC Charlotte Aspiring High School Principals Program

    The program offers three strands, depending on the participant's status: beginning CMS high school principals who already hold the NC school administration license and a master's degree; qualified teachers or those in non-administrative positions who already have a master's degree but need their school administration license; teachers who need the full Master of School Administration degree. The problem-based and action-learning curriculum simulates the actual challenges faced by high school principals and offers support tailored to participants' unique learning styles and leadership development needs.


Jan McIver, Principal
Thomasboro Academy
Educational Leadership Programs at Wingate University

Educational Leadership Programs at Wingate University

    Wingate University offers a 37-semester hour Master of Arts in Education in Educational Leadership program and a 22-semester hour Add-on Licensure Program in School Administration K-12. These programs focus on the seven NC Standards for School Executives, including strategic leadership, instructional leadership, cultural leadership, human resource leadership, managerial leadership, external development leadership, and micropolitical leadership. Future leaders take part in standards-based projects and learning experiences that are often taught be practitioners from local district central offices. 

The programs featured here are those that are tailored to CMS needs; however, we welcome applicants from other programs.

For information about the screening and selection process,
visit the talent pool page on the CMS website, and if you have further questions,
email us at talentpools .

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