Graduate Principal Internship

The building level (principal) internship is a three-semester experience designed to provide practical experience in the duties and activities of a school principal.  It is supervised by The University of Southern Mississippi, College of Education and Psychology Educational Field Experiences' office.  The core of the internship experience is tailored to the competencies of the Mississippi Department of Education’s 2011 redesign requirements and to the national standards for school leaders (ELCC/ISLLC).  The ultimate goal of the principal preparation program is to produce exceptional school leaders for P – 12 schools. Throughout the internship graduate students will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge, procedures, and skills in real-world settings that they are simultaneously learning in their coursework .  Among the elements needed to guarantee the success of the internship are: careful selection of mentors, school district officials who are willing to commit time and effort to the program, and University personnel who work to coordinate the practice with the core classes of the program. 



1)    When should I plan to complete the internship?  The program’s curriculum is presented in blocks of instruction.  The internship occurs during Blocks II, III, and IV.   Students will enroll in the second class EDA 636 during the first semester of the master’s program and re-enroll each semester for the internship for the subsequent 2 semesters.  


2)    Will Educational Field Experiences make the intern site placements?  No.  Generally students are responsible for arranging their own internship sites and for securing approval of the district for a principal internship.  Keep in mind that at least two sites of different age range are necessary for the internship. Educational Field Experiences must approve the placements within the first 3 weeks of the first semester.


3)    When should I begin to make arrangements for an internship site?  Ideally, an internship site should be pre-arranged at least 6 months in advance. This is not always possible, but needs to be secured as soon as you are accepted into the program.


4)    To whom should other questions regarding the internship be addressed?  If you cannot reach the USM instructor, please call Educational Field Experiences main office at 601-266-4571 or email Dr. Marsha Walters at


5)    Will I need to submit a portfolio each semester?  Yes and no.  You will be submitting products for your final portfolio throughout each block onto the Tk20 Assessment System, which creates an electronic portfolio and storage system for teacher candidates which tracks stores, retrieves and analyzes candidate data to maintain program excellence for accreditation. Your instructor will give you more detail on requirements for the electronic portfolio, as you move through the internship.


For more information on the Department of Educational Leadership and School Counseling please click here.