Career patterns of Michigan public school superintendents in districts with an enrollment of 5,000 or more students

No Thumbnail Available
Craig, David William
Nesper, Paul W.
Issue Date
Thesis (D. Ed)
Other Identifiers

The purpose of the study was to analyze career patterns of public school superintendents in Michigan serving school districts with a student population of 5,000 or more. Evidence indicated commonalities exist in the career path administrators follow to become the superintendent of a large Michigan school district.The population consisted of 77 superintendents in school districts of 5,000 plus enrollment. Sixty-three (81 percent) superintendents returned the questionnaire and ten of the responding superintendents were interviewed.Major findings from the questionnaire and interview instrument were:1. The superintendents in Michigan's large school districts are male between the ages of 4.6 and 55 and began their career in a public high school around age 24.2. The superintendents first administrative position had been either as an elementary principal, central office administrator, or a high school principal.3. Generally the superintendent accepted his first superintendency in a district of more than 5,000 students between the ages of 36 and 45.4. Most of the superintendents had a master's degree when first employed as a school administrator. A majority of the superintendents currently hold a doctorate.5. Human relations skills, a good background in school finance, and experience were necessary attributes in getting the appointment to the superintendency. The individual desiring to be the superintendent of one of Michigan's large school districts should be aware of factors which may enhance that goal. The individual must consider:1. The age at which career goals are determined and begun.2. The age of entry into the field of education.3. The size of the school district where first educational employment is accepted and where all subsequent administrative positions are accepted.4. Involvement in extra-curricular activities does not guarantee administrative promotion.5. The doctorate is of maximum importance in the career pattern of the large school district superintendent.6. Human relation skills, financial expertise, and experience are important criteria in seeking employment as a school superintendent.