Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Michael Wischnowski

Second Supervisor

Diane Reed

Abstract

This research study is an examination of the career orientations of assistant superintendents for instruction in New York State public school districts, excluding those in New York City. Career orientations represent an individual’s self-perceived talents, needs and values and address the question of what drives and gives direction to a career over the long term (Schein, 1996). While ASI’s are the district leaders primarily responsible for system-wide achievement of The No Child Behind Act (2001) accountability targets, less than a handful of research studies have focused on these crucial leaders. The purpose of the proposed study was to identify the career orientations of ASI’s and examine the relationships between and among the orientations and other variables including personal demographic and professional profile characteristics. Using a quantitative research design, a single-stage sample of 364 public school district ASI’s in New York State was surveyed. The findings suggest that over half of the NYS ASI’s are relatively new to their role and hold service to a cause, general managerial competence, geographic and job security dominant orientations. The service to a cause orientation ranked highest suggesting ASI’s perceive making a difference in the lives of students as a central value directing their career. Career plans and district types affected ASI’s career orientations. The need for additional research studies exploring the relationship of career orientations to role functions was identified. Creating a professional organization aimed at supporting and enhancing ASI’s would uphold the importance of the role and influence excellence in education for all students.

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