Developing the 21st Century Principal Assessment Center (ID21)

The ID21 is an authentic assessment developed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.  This process is designed to capture many of the key issues and leadership challenges facing school leaders.  The process creates a complex educational simulation that presents participants with many difficult leadership challenges.  With no right or wrong answers, the assessment focuses on the overall impact of each participant's leadership efforts and the effect on the school.  Immediate feedback is provided by trained assessors (usually practicing administrators) and a formal assessment form is provided for the student several weeks after the event.

The Educational Leadership Program uses the ID21 as a capstone event for students in the last semester of their program.  The ID21 is held in Fargo (usually on the North Dakota State University campus).  Here are some additional details about the ID21 process:


Day 1: Activities begin promptly at 11:30 a.m.  Students spend a few minutes with orientation and begin the first assessment activity shortly afterwards.  Work will end on the first day by 4:00 p.m.  (NOTE: Lunch is NOT provided.)

Day 2:  Activities resume at 8:30 a.m.  At that time, students begin interacting with a group of observers (called assessors) who have been specially trained in the ID21 process.  All are experienced practitioners who are very interested and excited about helping students advance in their careers as a school leader.  Throughout the day, students meet with various assessors to review their work and receive feedback.  The ID21 will end by 3:30 p.m. on the second day.  (NOTE:  Lunch IS provided.)


This is an opportunity for students to demonstrate the skills they've been working to develop over the past few years in their coursework.  Since this is a performance demonstration, memorizing facts won't be of much benefit in the ID21.  The best thing that students can do is to come rested as much as possible.  Throughout the assessment center, students and the assessors will be doing extensive analysis of the level of skills demonstrated for each of the skill categories and key behaviors.


Business attire.

Contact your advisor to get permission to participate in the ID21 for the semester you plan to graduate and once permission is granted, then contact Carol Nelson ( to confirm a spot in the ID21.  The ID21 is limited to six people per semester.

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