Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do you have minimum requirements for applying to the Principal Corps?
Answer: YES. The Principal Corps is a full-time graduate program. Individuals who are interested in the program should meet the following basic requirements:
- Hold a current Mississippi teacher’s license
- Have a minimum of three years teaching experience in K – 12 education
- Teach in a Mississippi school district
- Have a 3.0 or higher GPA in last academic program
- Have taken the GRE in the last five years and submitted competitive scores to the UM Graduate School
- Receive the endorsement of current school superintendent
- Three letters of support
- Complete an application to the University of Mississippi Graduate School and an on-line Principal Corps application
Question: If I already have a master’s degree, but I have not taken the GRE, do I still have to take the GRE?
Answer: YES. All candidates must take the GRE and submit scores (including a writing score) that are no more than 5 years old to the UM Graduate School. Because Principal Corps is a competitive scholarship program, we consider GRE scores along with other relevant data.
Question: Will GRE scores and academic transcripts (GPA) constitute the only data points considered when selecting candidates for admission?
Answer: No. While both of these data points are critical and must be competitive, essays, references, and the face-to-face interview (if selected for an interview) are all considered in the final selection process.
Question: If accepted into the program, will I continue teaching or at least conduct my internship in my current school?
Answer: No. The Principal Corps is a full-time graduate program that consists of a full-time administrative internship placement. This placement is typically outside a candidate’s current school district, which means you would not continue teaching; rather, you would be placed in another school to work with and learn from a proven building administrator. We work with the candidate’s school superintendent to determine an appropriate placement. We also consider geographical location and family situation of the candidate when making placements. Due to the structure of the program, it is vital that the superintendent support the candidate’s application to the program. Once someone is selected from a district, a process is initiated to secure grant funds to cover the cost of a replacement teacher while you are completing your internship. If your superintendent supports your candidacy in the program, you will continue to receive your current salary and benefits.
Question: When does the program begin and how long does it last?
Answer: The Principal Corps is a 13-month program consisting of 36 credit hours. Each new PC Cohort begins the first week in June with all candidates reporting to the UM campus. Candidates participate in a 6 hours of coursework and attend several workshops during the month of June. Candidates receive their internship placements in June, and they report to their assigned schools in July. During the fall and spring semesters, candidates take nine hours of coursework each semester while completing the internship. The courses are a combination of on-line, podcast, and face-to-face meetings on campus. Candidates stay on campus monthly for the face-to-face class meetings. During the second summer term, candidates take their final 6-hour class in June.
Question: What does the course rotation look like?
- Summer I – 6 hours of coursework and workshops beginning the first week in June on the UM campus.
- Fall – 9 hours of coursework.
- Spring– 9 hours of coursework.
- Summer II – 6 hour coursework beginning the first week in June on the UM campus.
- Internship – 6 hours course credit.
Question: Do I arrange for my own lodging during the summer terms and the monthly meetings?
Answer: No. The PC scholarship provides for your summer and monthly lodging. All arrangements are made for you in advance.
Question: Will I return to my current school when I complete the program?
Answer: YES. Once you complete the program, you will return to your school district.
Question: What happens when I receive a position as an assistant principal or principal after completing the program?
Answer: Candidates who accept positions and begin work as an assistant principal or principal in a Mississippi school district within two years of completing the program will receive a $10,000 signing bonus from the Barksdale Foundation.
Question: What benefits are available to superintendents and school boards that participate in the Principal Corps Program?
- An opportunity to select your next generation of school leaders.
- An opportunity to have the selected candidates participate in and complete a program based on the most current and clearly defined research practices in the country.
- An opportunity to have the selected candidates return to your district with a strong knowledge base and experiences focused on instructional leadership; data analysis and interpretation; and specific content knowledge in the areas of literacy, numeracy, and students with disabilities.
- An opportunity to have the selected candidates enter into the position of assistant principal or principal having a full year of internship experience under a master principal.
Question: What benefits are available to candidates selected for admission to the Principal Corps program?
- An opportunity to participate in a highly competitive experience-based program that reflects the current research in the areas of leadership; instructional leadership; data analysis and interpretation; with an emphasis on literacy, numeracy, and students with disabilities.
- An opportunity to participate in a cohort based program and benefit from the interaction with your current Principal Corps cohort and other Principal Corps members already working in leadership positions.
- An opportunity to complete a full year internship, one semester in an elementary school and one semester in a secondary school, under the guidance of a master principal and a university mentor.
- Candidates selected for admission to Principal Corps will receive a scholarship covering the cost of all tuition, textbooks and housing along with a food stipend for each term.
- Candidates completing the program and accepting a position and beginning work as an assistant principal or principal in a Mississippi public school within two years of completing the program will receive a $10,000 signing bonus from the Barksdale Foundation.