Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Hardwick Smith Johnson

Committee Member

James H. Miller


mentors, leadership, higher education, African Americans


The problem addressed by this study was the lack of available mentorship opportunities for minority faculty seeking leadership positions in higher education. The purpose was to explore participant perceptions regarding the lack of available mentorship opportunities for this population who sought leadership positions in higher education. After all interviews were completed, the researcher used a qualitative data analysis procedure to analyze the interview data. The procedure highlighted crucial statements, phrases, and quotes that helped comprehend how the eight participants experienced the phenomenon. The analyzed data generated themes to answer the four research questions as follows:

1. What are the benefits of minority higher education professionals participating in a mentee-mentor program? Seven themes emerged from the interview responses. Programs helped minority higher education professionals navigate through a difficult tenure process. Mentors made the minority professionals feel a sense of community and support.

2. What do minority higher education professionals perceive as factors that inhibit them from locating and obtaining mentee-mentor relationship opportunities? Ten themes emerged from the interview responses. Factors included the busy schedules of minority professionals and their mentors who were in senior leadership positions. Busy schedules resulted in conflict and time constraints with meetings between mentors and mentees.

3. How could higher learning institutions expand higher education professionals’ menteementor opportunities for minorities? Ten themes were associated with this research question. Institutions might actively recruit diverse minority faculty members to serve as mentors. Institutions can set clear and realistic goals and expectations for mentors and mentees. Mentors may be matched with minority mentees, based on shared research interests and career goals.

4. What are the differences/concerns with minority higher education professional candidates seeking mentee-mentor opportunities? Eight themes emerged to answer the fourth research question. Participants reported limited visible mentor role models at the institutions made it hard for many ethnic mentees to envision themselves in leadership roles. Stereotyping existed, based on the minorities’ different physical characteristics. There was implicit bias with senior mentors unconsciously favoring mentees with similar personal characteristics in the selection of mentees.

It is recommended that concerned researchers should develop and evaluate formal mentorship programs that pair aspiring novice minority higher education professionals with senior administrators that the aspiring professionals can closely identify with and feel comfortable engaging in conversations.

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