This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Mentoring Experiences of Novice Principals in Rural Alabama




Mckinney, Melanie

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This study investigated the mentoring experiences of novice principals in rural Alabama. Novice principals were defined as principals in probationary status, which in Alabama involves the first three years in this position. The focus of this research was on gaining an in-depth understanding of the mentoring relationships and experiences of these principals. The study examined the perceived role of the mentor, the outcomes of the mentoring experiences of these novice principals, the factors that hindered the mentoring relationship or experiences, and the facilitating factors that fostered their success. The researcher used a qualitative case study approach because it was the best way to capture the essence of the principals’ experiences. This study identified three major recurring themes of the mentoring roles: guide, encourager and partner. The study identified four major recurring mentoring outcomes: professional growth, which involved administrative and leadership skills; confidence and self-assurance; and appreciation for mentoring. There were two major hindrances: lack of support and time constraints/distance, and the three facilitating factors: trust, support, and availability. The study provides an in-depth analysis of the implications of the findings for practice and for further research.