Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Administration

Major Professor

Dr. Elizabeth Jeffers

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Beabout

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher Broadhurst

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Virginia Hampton


Mentoring has been used for centuries as a way for a person to pass on knowledge, skills, or support to a less experienced person. Mentoring in the workplace, however, was not studied until the early 1980s, and then more than a decade later, mentoring was studied in the context of the K-12 teacher workforce. Mentoring has improved teacher effectiveness (Yuan, 2015; Koedel, 2009; Campbell and Malkus, 2011); increased teachers’ self-efficacy (Ingersoll & May, 2011; Saffold, 2005; Louis, 2016); and contributed to teacher retention (Ingersoll & Kralik, 2004; Cohen & Fuller, 2006). Most mentoring studies and theories, however, have been developed with a teacher population that is largely White. While about 50% of students in K-12 public schools in the U.S. are non-White, only 18% of teachers are non-White. Because teachers of color have a profound and positive impact on students, they are worth studying.

The purpose of this study is to understand the mentoring experiences of teachers of color in K-12 public charter schools in New Orleans, and to explore how teachers of color benefited from mentoring in the areas of career development and psychosocial support. The researcher utilized a qualitative, phenomenological approach by interviewing ten participants and analyzing the essence of their experiences. Five themes resulted from this research: race plays a significant role in the mentoring of teachers of color; the charter school system in New Orleans has had an impact on the racial make-up of teachers; informal and formal mentoring form a winning combination; mentors provided teachers of color with validation and cultural navigation tools; and mentoring improved teaching practices and retention. This study can have an impact on mentoring theory as it relates to race and identity. This study also has practical implications for K-12 leaders in the way that teachers of color are supported.


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