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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Beatrice Lingenfelter

First Committee Member

Norena Badway

Second Committee Member

Thomas Nelson

Third Committee Member

Katey Talbot


This qualitative study examined and analyzed mentoring relationships from the personal perspectives and experiences of nine African American women in higher level educational administration leadership positions that have been mentored during their career and who currently hold or have held higher level educational administration leadership positions. The study shed light and brought forth corroboration of previous studies which highlighted that it is often difficult for African American women to attain and retain higher level educational administration leadership positions and the necessity for support systems, namely mentoring relationships. Respondents provided valuable information, evidence, and insight that may be useful in selecting, supporting, retaining, and promoting other African American women into leadership positions. African American women who seek higher level leadership positions in educational administration often face insurmountable barriers, according to the research respondents. These barriers can be attributed to stereotypes related to race, age, and gender. The responses of study participants are supported by the research literature which describes how women, in general, tend to give up their quest for leadership positions when they feel overwhelmed and unsupported while attempting to navigate through the obvious and hidden barriers (Grove & Montgomery, 2001; Malone, 2001). The data from this study shed light on the fact that African American women interested in higher level educational administration leadership positions need access to support systems that contribute to their job success and satisfaction. The respondents reported that engaging in mentoring relationships helped them bridge the gap between theory and practice. Additionally, they stated that more than one mentor, bringing varied perspectives to the mentee, was needed to help address job-related challenges. The respondents further reported that mentoring relationships are beneficial to both the mentor and mentee and emphasized that the mentoring relationships should be open and both the mentor and mentee should be approachable. In summation, even with its imperfections and inconsistencies, respondents noted that the mentoring process continues to be one of the best ways to provide a lasting influence on the attitudes, knowledge, expertise, and professionalism of African American women who are seeking to attain or retain higher level educational administration leadership positions.




9780496156368 , 0496156365

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