Shelley B. Wepber 0000-0003-2731-4192




The success of school-university partnerships depends on the leadership. This qualitative study reports on school-based leaders (SBAs) as critical stakeholders in the collaborative process of forming viable partnerships with colleges and universities. It describes SBAs’ responsibilities as partners, motivation for forming their partnerships, perceived benefits and challenges of the partnership, perspectives on forming and sustaining a partnership, and self-reflective comments about their leadership characteristics as an SBA and a partner. Sixteen SBAs, most of whom were school principals, responded to 12 interview questions. SBAs indicated that they have been engaged with Professional Development Schools (PDSs) an average of 10 years. They pursued their partnerships with colleges and universities to help their students, teachers, and schools. Even with the additional responsibilities and any challenges encountered, SBAs found that PDSs provided additional resources and support, collaboration, and opportunities to impact future teachers. SBAs believed that they had the necessary leadership qualities for developing PDSs as vehicles for promoting the profession. They saw themselves as collaborative, visionary, dedicated, organized, striving for excellence, motivational, and supportive. Ideas are presented for creating a leadership profile of SBAs involved in PDSs to establish guidelines for their optimum roles and responsibilities in partnership work.



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