Document Type

Doctor of Education Capstone

Original Publication Date



Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Education, Department of Educational Leadership

Date of Submission

April 2021


The intent of this paper is to provide a mixed-methods audit of professional development provided to K-12 school leadership in Virginia's diverse landscape to include identification of providers, funding, effectiveness, and expectations.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, geographical, political, and socio-economical differences across 132 school divisions cause variability in leaders' experiences with professional development. A mixed-methods approach was used, including a review of current literature, an online survey, virtual interviews, and virtual focus group discussions. This data collection results in a comprehensive audit of professional development provided to school leaders in Virginia's diverse landscape. The study defines effective professional development for school leaders and considers commonalities and disparities of school leaders' experience with professional development, including divisions' commitment to funding, leaders’ access to providers, and leaders’ exposure to traditional and emerging content topics in order to provide recommendations to Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Education as an external provider of professional development for school leaders.


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