||Recruitment and retention of educational administrators are ongoing issues for northern and Aboriginal school districts. For example, one of the challenges faced by administrators in northern Manitoba is the open access to professional development opportunities.
In June of 2009, the Brandon University Centre for Aboriginal and Rural Education Studies (BU CARES) approached a number of superintendents from northern Manitoba and the Manitoba Council for Leadership in Education (MCLE) with an idea for a study of recruitment and retention of in-school administrators in Northern Manitoban school divisions. The dialogue between the three groups resulted in a study to be conducted by researchers from Brandon University. The project, which will take place over a number of years, is aimed at improving the current recruitment practices and at increasing the retention rates of in-school administrators in Northern schools. The group felt that professional development opportunities may play a significant role in assisting administrators to develop the educational administration skills needed for living and working in remote northern communities. Some potential activities may include enhancing distance delivery graduate level courses or using technology to build on-going professional connections between northern administrators.
Before engaging in program development and delivery, it is imperative to build an understanding of the specific needs of northern Manitoban administrators. The researchers are currently conducting a survey of in-school administrators working in Northern Manitoban school divisions to explore the needs that can be readily identified. Based on the results of the survey, they intend to conduct an action research project with several Northern school divisions to investigate the possibilities for enhanced recruitment and retention processes. In this presentation, the researchers will share the results of the literature review that they conducted and utilized in the creation of the survey instrument. Additionally, they will share their plans for an action research project and gather feedback from participants about issues of retention and recruitment in northern Manitoban schools.