Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Causey-Konate, Tammie M.

Second Advisor

Paradise, Louis V.

Third Advisor


Fourth Advisor



Are new school administrators prepared for the surprises, obstacles, and opportunities they are likely to encounter during the first-year in their new role? Sadly enough, too many new leaders do not feel prepared to meet the challenges of their new role as an administrator. In 2006, the National Center for Education Statistics (2006) reported that there were 95,726 administrators in the U. S. Within this pool of administrators, approximately 127 were new hires in the state of Louisiana (LDE, 2006). In an effort to find ways to support, guide, and retain new principals, the Louisiana Educational Leaders Network, under the direction of the Louisiana Department of Education, developed the Louisiana Educational Leaders Induction (LELI) program in 1994. The LELI Program was designed to build administrative, instructional, and professional knowledge and skills of first-year principals and assistant principals with the assistance of a team mentor. Perspectives from elementary and secondary principals regarding their mentoring experiences within the LELI Program during their first year as principals were investigated. Two research participants from each of the eight Louisiana educational regions were selected through stratified random sampling techniques and interviewed. The research question guiding the one-to-one interviews was, ―What are the perspectives of first-year principals regarding their experiences with mentors and the mentoring process within the LELI Program?‖Data from the interviews provided insight about the mentoring elements most crucial to the preparation, support, and leadership of first-year principals. This research study substantiated the belief that mentors and the mentoring experiences of new principals are vital to their survival during their first year. The need exists for continued research that examines the relationship between the mentor and the mentee in creating and sustaining successful schools. Overall, the qualitative results of this exploratory study promoted understanding of the importance of mentors and the mentoring experiences within the LELI Program for first-year principals. Mentoring is a vital component for preparing, supporting, and building leadership in first-year principals, and this study yielded findings organized around eight themes that focus on necessary elements within the mentoring component of the LELI Program.


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