Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael F. DiPaola


American social culture had a long-prevailing ideology that minorities were inferior to their Caucasian counterparts. Clearly, though, integration reflected an acknowledgement that racial equity and equality could and should be achieved in the composition of schools. In the last 40 years, as a profession and individually, educators have shifted from concerns about removing legal constraints or policy barriers based on race or gender to issues of equity and access to opportunity for advancement to the site-based leadership position called the principal.;This study use Marshall's typologies of the (1992) plateaued assistant principal, shafted assistant principal, and the assistant principal who considers leaving to determine if there are significant differences in the barriers to upward mobility between aspiring minorities and their Caucasian counterparts. Additionally, the strategies employed by currently practicing principals were assessed to determine if the strategies assistant principals intend to employ are the same as the successful ones employed by practicing principals.;The findings of this research indicate that some assistant principals still meet barriers to their ascendancy. Promisingly, this study indicated that barriers based solely on race are minimal. Lack of mentors, lack of sponsors, and exclusion from the ole' boys/girls' network were critical barriers to advancement. Some assistant principals, though, found that their climb has been free from barriers. A holistic approach to career development emerged as the most effective way to overcome the ole' boys/girls' network and get a job as principal.



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