Creating successful and sustainable educational administrative internship experiences

Mark Edward Deschaine, Benjamin P. Jankens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose - With increase requirements and a more clinical approach for administrator internships in principal preparation programs, universities are taking a look at their internships and how they are implemented. The purpose of this paper is to propose a structure and framework incorporating promising practices from recent literature and explores how to successfully implement new standards and state requirements. Additionally, a framework for practice is included as a foundation for a clinical internship program that applies theory and promising practices. Design/methodology/approach - Internships are a critical aspect of the principal preparation program and are crucial to preparing students to fulfill their future leadership roles. This brief reviewed the related literature, which revealed the lack of quality in various educational leadership programs and posited that the internship is an essential element to principal preparation. Key considerations to successful internships, and why they are necessary to overall candidate preparation were also presented. Additionally, a sample program was described that included aspects of both performance and accountability and served as a framework for new and revised internships. Findings - Although the internship experience is but one part of a larger curricular sequence, it has a central role in the preparation of future school administrators. School administrator preparation programs have an obligation to allow participants to fully experience the breadth and depth of issues and environments that they will encounter. A structure and framework is needed that incorporates promising practices from recent literature, and explores how to successfully implement new standards and state requirements for a clinical internship program applying current theory and promising practices. Originality/value - Creating and maintaining effective internship experiences is an ever-evolving process that requires dedicated faculty and resources. Learning through internships is a central element of future principal candidates' overall success. Authentic practice and experience in real school settings ensures that future educational leaders receive the best preparation that universities and faculty can provide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Administrative internship
  • Administrator preparation programmes
  • Programme requirements


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