Embrace your true calling.

Aspiring Principals

Admission into the BRIGHT Fellowship program is highly selective. Only those candidates who demonstrate true potential to serve as extraordinary school leaders advance through the multi-stage process.

BRIGHT Ohio Principal Certification Program

Individuals selected as BRIGHT Fellows will be placed in an Ohio public school for an intensive 10-month immersion experience, working and learning under the mentorship of an accomplished school principal, a principal coach, a master teacher and an executive-level business leader. You will become part of the building’s leadership team to be mentored, coached, advised and assessed by the School District as part of your Fellowship requirements.

During this same time period, you will earn an MBA – fully paid for by BRIGHT – from the top-ranked Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Classes meet on campus monthly for three or four days, depending on the module.

You also will receive a modest monthly stipend.

When you have completed the Fellowship's immersion experience and degree requirements, you will be fully certified by the Ohio Department of Education to serve as a building principal. To complete your responsibilities as a BRIGHT Fellow, you will serve a minimum of three years as the principal of any public school in Ohio – though we'll be targeting placement in high-poverty schools.


If you are fortunate enough to be selected as a BRIGHT Fellowship recipient, you will soon find yourself immersed in a challenging, rewarding Fellowship Experience designed to build upon your demonstrated leadership capabilities. You can be confident that BRIGHT will prepare you for the toughest job you will ever love.

Here’s an overview of the Fellowship Experience:


  • Weeklong orientation to the BRIGHT program
  • Symposia with leading CEOs, academic leaders and thought leaders
  • A business simulation
  • Team-building exercises

Ohio Learning Standards and Effective Teaching Practices

  • Training focused on Ohio’s language arts and math standards and instructional excellence
  • Opportunities for experiential learning and classroom observations
  • Guidance and a framework for how to align instruction with assessment
  • Instruction on how to utilize data to dramatically improve classroom practice and learner outcomes

In-School Placement

  • Full-time, 10-month immersion experience at a high-poverty Ohio school
  • Minimum 1,000 clock hours over 182 days with an accomplished principal
  • Co-teaching classes with master teachers: 180 clock hours
  • Access to principal coaches: 120 clock hours
  • Colloquia and professional development: minimum 100 clock hours
  • Intensive training on instructional efficacy
  • Quarterly formal assessments and 360-degree leadership feedback

MBA Program

  • Course content highly customized to complement the education context and concurrent with the in-school immersion experience
  • Intensive monthly on-campus learning modules
  • Periodic daylong Adaptive Leadership workshops
  • MBA fully paid by BRIGHT, plus a modest monthly stipend

Business Executive Mentoring

  • Yearlong mentorship with an executive-level, C-Suite business mentor drawn from the Ohio Business Roundtable

Principal Certification

  • Fast-track certification by the Ohio Department of Education to serve as a school building principal in Ohio

Service As a School Principal

  • Upon completion of the BRIGHT Fellowship requirements, Fellows are required to serve a minimum of three years as principal of a high-poverty public school in Ohio.
BRIGHT Ohio principal mentorship


Concurrent with the 10-month in-school immersion experience, you will complete the course requirements outlined in the chart below for an MBA from the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State.

The BRIGHT MBA is highly customized to be relevant to an education context. Courses are taught by leading faculty from both the Fisher College of Business and OSU's College of Education and Human Ecology.

1 Year MBA


To further augment and deepen your education training, knowledge and development, you will engage in a series of Colloquia experiences covering a range of critical education topics:

  • Ohio Improvement Process Framework
  • Formative Instructional Practice
  • Assessment Literacy
  • Data Literacy for School Leaders
  • Research-Based Strategies for School Success
  • Research on Highly-Effective Teachers and Principals
  • Strategies to Increase Student Performance
  • Facilitative Leadership
  • Coaching Human Capital to Increase Performance
  • Data-Driven Instruction
  • Data Literacy Strategies for School-wide Improvement
  • Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction Frameworks
  • Strategies to Improve Internal Communication
  • Leveraging Time, Talent and Resources in Schools
  • Strategies to Successfully Market Your School
  • Strategies for Highly Effective Principals

Adaptive Leadership Workshops

Dr. Ronald Heifetz, Founding Director of the Center for Public Leadership and the King Hussein bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, conducts periodic daylong workshops for the BRIGHT Fellows courtesy of the Ohio Business Roundtable.


Throughout the Fellowship Experience, you will benefit from a range of intensive personal assessment and development experiences, such as the following:

  • Team-building exercises
  • 360-degree feedback surveys
  • Site visits to high-poverty, high-minority, high-achieving schools
  • Insights from your assigned master principal, master teachers, principal coach and business executive mentor

All of these experiences will be focused on reinforcing the desired leadership competencies already demonstrated by qualified aspirants and current BRIGHT Fellows.