Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Daniel W. Calhoun

Committee Member 1

James Green

Committee Member 2

Deborah Thomas


Currently there are low numbers of women serving in the role of principal, in part because those who seek or currently hold this position face a variety of barriers and challenges. One of the support systems that women can employ in dealing with these barriers and challenges is mentoring. The exploration of the perceptions of the mentoring of women principals in rural South Georgia schools served as the goal of this mixed-method study. The results provided data for examination of the perceptions the women principals had of their mentoring experience and how their role as principal may have been affected as a result of not having been mentored. Also, the mixed method design provided a means to explore how the mentoring experience for women principals can be improved. Results from a survey of 97 women principals provided insight into the perceptions of mentoring by both women who experienced mentoring and those who did not. In addition, simple random sampling identified 12 women to participate in the interview portion of the study. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis indicated that, overall, mentoring is a beneficial experience for women principals. The findings also suggested that experiences varied depending on multiple elements. These elements included the gender of the mentor as well as whether the mentoring experience was informal or formal. These findings provide information that could be used to establish mentoring programs to support women principals in rural South Georgia schools. Finally, implications for educational leaders and recommendations for future research are provided.