University-district partnerships are promising models for leadership preparation programs, however many partnerships fall short of their potential. In this two-year qualitative, action research study, we examine how a university-district partnership led to the simultaneous renewal of the district and university as it sought to develop transformational school leaders. Analysis of semi-structured interviews with program participants, university staff, and district administrators indicated the impactful role of cohorts, co-teaching, and inquiry-based instruction in the continual improvement of all stakeholders. We show how each of these program components informed and transformed the university and district. We also identified partnership conditions that supported their effectiveness. Our findings inform universities and districts designing partnerships for leadership preparation and provide existing partnerships that incorporate cohorting, co-teaching, and inquiry-based instruction a better understanding of their potential impact.
- school leadership preparation
- simultaneous renewal
- transformational leadership
- university-district partnership