National Aspiring Principals Fellowship

Leadership Changes Everything

Discover how the Fellowship can unlock your leadership potential.

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The National Aspiring Principals Fellowship at Clark Atlanta University is a principal certification and master's degree program designed in response to the research-demonstrated need for greater equity-driven, representative school leadership.

Closing The Representation Gap In School Leadership

Research shows that a strong, equity-minded school leader accounts for about 25% of a school’s impact on student learning. Research also shows better school and student outcomes, especially for teachers and children of color, when a principal of color is at the helm.

However, while more than 54% of all U.S. public school students are students of color, only 20% of all U.S. principals are Black or Hispanic/Latinx. This does not have to be the reality.

The Fellowship integrates the 20+ year research and evidence base of New Leaders nationally renowned principal preparation program and the equity-centered conceptual frameworks of Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College into a transformative online experience that prepares diverse cohorts of aspiring principals from across the country to face the challenges of today’s schools as they lead with equity and drive towards results. This is principal preparation at its finest.

Results You Can Count On

The Fellowship is rooted in the 20-year evidence base and instructional approach of New Leaders Aspiring Principals Program, the most rigorously evaluated and effective principal preparation program in the nation. Multiple independent studies have found that principals trained through our principal preparation programs get results where it matters most: in schools, for students.

In schools led by graduates from our principal preparation programs:
Students perform better in reading and math
Students have better attendance rates
Students gain additional months of learning
Principals, themselves, stay in their roles longer
28 states
have schools led by a principal that graduated from our preparation program
60% of principals
trained through our program identify as Black and/or Hispanic/Latinx
1 of 5 principals
trained through our program go on to lead at the district-level
Photo of Cinique Weekes-Bynoe
I feel like the Fellowship will help me be the school leader that I deserve and want to be.
Cinique Weekes-Bynoe, January 2022 Cohort Participant

A Program Design Centered In Equity

Participants in the Fellowship engage in rigorous online coursework and complete a year-long residency in their current schools. The curriculum is steeped in the deep history and long-standing scholarship of our partners:
Clark Atlanta University’s distinguished history and demonstrated expertise in preparing competent, autonomous, critical-thinking candidates for P12 schools, particularly those belonging to culturally and linguistically diverse groups
New Leaders Transformational Leadership Framework™ to develop effective, evidence-based leadership actions that are central to sustained school improvement and student success
Morehouse Center for Excellence in Education’s CANDLE Framework to enhance content focused on racial literacy, social justice, and culturally-responsive practice

Why Choose The Fellowship For Your Leadership Journey?

The Fellowship prepares you to enter the principalship ready to:
Lead with a firm moral imperative
Create a school culture that promotes equity, inclusion, and excellence
Focus on the talents and assets of the students, schools and communities you serve
Implement equitable systems and practices that enable data-driven decision-making and cycles of continuous improvement
Integrate personal leadership and instructional leadership practices to identify high-leverage priorities, build staff capacity, and meet the needs of every student
Effectively diagnose and develop plans for school-wide improvement and student achievement

Your Commitment

The Fellowship is a comprehensive blended learning experience supported by a job-embedded residency, monthly individual coaching, and community connection. Designed to be flexible for full-time education leaders, the Fellowship consists of approximately 10-12 hours per week of synchronous and asynchronous work and engages a school-site sponsor to support participants in immediately applying their learning on-site.

Tuition is $10,000 - $20,000, depending on the selected program of study.

About Clark Atlanta University

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Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African American tradition and focused on the future through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement.

Clark Atlanta University cultivates lifted lives that transform the world. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing "The Black National Anthem"); Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy.

To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit

About New Leaders

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New Leaders is redefining how schools are led. New Leaders builds the capacity of equity-minded school leaders who are committed to the success of every child. Our leaders remove barriers to success for underestimated and underserved students, supporting students in fully realizing their futures as the next generation of great thinkers, innovators, and leaders for our society.

In 20 years, we have trained more than 6,000 equity-focused leaders—sixty percent of whom identify as leaders of color. Our leaders impact more than 750,000 students in our K-12 school system annually and serve as powerful and positive forces for change in their communities.

To learn more about New Leaders, visit