Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Mentoring in education--Iowa; High school principals--Job satisfaction--Iowa; High school principals--Training of--Iowa;


Researchers have alluded to the power of mentorship to connect the new administrator to the organization. Following the lead of business, the field of education is now recognizing mentoring as a critical component of effective leadership development. Daresh (2001) suggests there is a need for a more practical and effective approach to prepare the leaders of our schools. New administrators have little choice but to experience on-the-job training, without any formal support in place. Administrative mentoring programs are growing in attention due to the projected principal shortages, concerns about qualified candidates, and the changing role of the building level principal.

This study sought to fill in a gap in the research by investigating the components of a mentoring relationship that impact new practicing principals' perceptions of the role that mentors played in their professional development and job satisfaction. The mentors' perspectives were examined to determine how they improved their own performance through the mentoring relationship. In addition, the study compared perceptions of first year principals with those of their mentors. Four main research questions framed this study: (a) what are the effects, if any, of the administrative mentoring program on the first-year principal; (b) do mentor/mentee relationships provide professional development; (c) are administrators who have had mentor/mentee relationships more confident in the position? and (d) what impact, if any, does a mentor/mentee relationship in formal mentoring programs have on a new administrator's sense of job satisfaction?

A mixed methods approach was used in this research study. The researcher used quantitative survey research augmented by qualitative interviews. The researcher paralleled the information learned in the interviews to the data from the surveys through the narrative. This study shows an increased confidence level of the new administrator in one year. The study also found that the increased confidence level of the new administrator is directly tied to increased job satisfaction. We know people are more satisfied in their work when they feel confident about the work they are doing and see results. The increased job satisfaction could lead to administrators staying in their positions longer, which has a direct impact on school districts. Not only is there an increased likelihood that a new administrator will stay in his or her position longer, but there is an increased chance the individual will stay in the profession over time. In the day of administrator shortages, increased longevity of service has a positive impact on schools and the educational leadership profession. The Wallace Foundation (2007) describes benefits to the organization from a mentoring program as promoting positive organizational climate, clarifying roles and expectations, increasing satisfaction and retention rates, and mentoring suggests commitment to employees.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

Robert Decker, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 128 pages)



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