Principalship Program

Graduate students enjoying a lecture.

Photo of Debra Hester

Interim Program Head
Debra Hester

The UT Principalship Program (UTAPP) is an academic concentration within the Public School Executive Leadership (PSEL) program. Students earn a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree that provides the opportunity to pursue a career as a principal or an administrator in school leadership, as the program differentiates the curriculum to support the development and preparation for elementary, middle, and high school principals with a focus on equity and social justice leadership.

The UT Principalship Program strives to

  • Develop school leaders who are committed to eradicating inequities in schools for all children, especially those who have been historically underserved;
  • Prepare school leaders who anchor their practice in social justice leadership, especially in topics relating to race, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and other historically and currently marginalized conditions; and
  • Provide powerful learning experiences in their communities and districts to demonstrate national and state educational professional learning standards through a social justice and critical lens.

As students pursue their degrees, they will conduct an in-depth analysis of a local school to identify areas of need utilizing quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Students also will complete extensive research to determine how to best address these needs. This authentic experience launches master’s students into the world of scholarly research and school leadership – an optimal blend of theory and practice.

Upon completion of their course work and participatory action research project, students will be qualified to take the principal certification exam and to serve a community as a campus leader.


Photo of Terrance Green

Terrance Green

Assistant Professor

Examines principals and school-community engagement/community development, and issues of educational equity and opportunity.

Photo of Debra Hester

Debra Hester

Clinical Assistant Professor, UTAPP Interim Director

Coordinates learning objectives, knowledge development, and practical experiences through internships that contribute to a cohesive, high quality education in administration.

Photo of Ruben Olivarez

Ruben Olivarez


L. D. Haskew Centennial Professor in Public School Administration

Advocates for social justice and equal educational opportunities for all students, and stresses the importance of teachers in education and principals as a key to school effectiveness.

Photo of Pedro Reyes

Pedro Reyes

Professor, Acting President UTSA

Focuses on school conditions that foster high academic success for children of poverty, stratification of learning opportunities for children of color, and on state policy that facilitates student success across the education pipeline.

Clinical and Adjunct Faculty

Photo of Nelson Coulter

Nelson Coulter

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Uses his experience as a principal in rural and in large comprehensive high schools to inform students on the skills necessary to be a successful school leader.

Sheila Guzman


Interests include curriculum & instruction, educational administration, bilingual/bicultural Education, principalship preparation, and public school executive leadership.

Glenn Nolly


Focuses on social justice leadership as well as specific strategies to create optimal learning environments for students and teachers.