Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Brydon-Miller, Mary

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Davis, Keith

Committee Member

Davis, Keith

Committee Member

Buecker, Harrylynn

Committee Member

Hartstern, Paige

Author's Keywords

Mentoring; principal; school improvement; administration; leadership


This qualitative study examines Comprehensive Improvement Schools (CSI) principals’ experiences with mentoring programs and their perceptions of how such programs may mitigate administrative attrition. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight practicing CSI principals and the study utilized the pragmatic framework. The interviews captured principal’s experiences with being a principal mentee during their first year of CSI principalship, and what actions or activities in their mentorships aided their retention in the position. The analysis suggested several recommendations for practice in principal mentoring programs to increase school leader retention. At the heart of these recommendations was an emphasis on the importance of the trust-based relationship between the mentor and mentee and ample time for on- demand support from the mentor. Further nuanced recommendations were developed from the principals’ experience and the body of literature regarding principal mentorship. These recommendations can be utilized by local school districts and state education departments to construct model principal mentoring programs.