Consolidation of the NC Principal Fellows Program (NCPFP) and Transforming Principal Preparation Program (TP3)

On July 1, 2021 The North Carolina Principal Fellows Program (NCPFP) and Transforming Principal Preparation Program (TP3) fully merged into a unified state-funded program.  Our Commission acknowledged the history and traditions of the Principal Fellows Program, and decided to maintain the name as NC Principal Fellows.

One significant change resulting from this merger, impacts how applicants become a part of the program.  Rather than applying directly to the NCPFP, students apply to a university that is participating in the grant program for principal preparation.  Additionally, applicants should ensure their school principal and district leadership understand their desire to start this school leadership journey.  The candidate selection process is a collaborative approach between university programs and LEA leaders.

The following universities are participating in this fully-funded principal preparation model:

  • Appalachian State University (2022-2028 Grant Cycle)
  • Central Carolina Regional Education Service Alliance/North Carolina Central University (2020-2026 Grant Cycle)
  • East Carolina University (2020-2026 and 2022-2028 Grant Cycles)
  • North Carolina State University (2020-2026, and 2022-2028 Grant Cycles)
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2022-2028 Grant Cycle)
  • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2020-2026 Grant Cycle)
  • The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2022-2028 Grant Cycle)
  • Western Carolina University (2022-2028 Grant Cycle)

If you are interested in any of these institutions, click HERE for contact information.

Thinking about becoming a North Carolina Principal Fellow?


  1. If you’re interested in participating in the NCPFP, be sure your school principal knows — they are your strongest advocate.  Work together to ensure district-level leadership such as Human Resource Directors and your Superintendent know your intent to become a school leader.
  2. Applying and being accepted to this new model will also require your Superintendent’s approval.  When strong district partnerships exist, the likelihood of securing a school leadership position is much greater.
  3. If accepted into one of the participating university programs, you will not be on a leave of absence both years. Instead, you will take courses while remaining in the classroom (or other certified position) during your first year. You will be on a leave of absence for the second year and receive a stipend equivalent to the starting salary of an assistant principal or your current teaching salary, whichever is greater. Additionally, as a Principal Fellow, you will receive employee health benefits and your local supplement.

For additional information or general queries, email Dr. Tony Stewart at