Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies

First Advisor

Doyle Stevick


This study aimed to investigate the dynamics of race and mentorship while capturing the lived experiences of Black principals as they were in the pipeline to the principalship. Although America’s public schools are becoming increasingly more diverse with students of color, the number of principals of color is relatively low; Blacks account for 10.7 % of the principalship, while whites account for 68.1% (School Principal Demographics and Statistics in the US, 2022). This qualitative study used Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a framework to inform the reader of racial trends, dynamics and/or thematic parallels of the participants in the study. It was not the intent to utilize all of CRT tenets but to apply those that were illuminated in the data. This was two-state study with six participants from four public school districts, located in the Carolinas. The districts were not listed to ensure the confidentiality of the participants. The study consisted of recorded interviews with a semi-structured interview protocol; the participants were encouraged to expand on their answers to ensure that their experiences were not surface level but captured a real-world, in-depth account of their mentoring experiences as aspiring Black administrators. Mentoring in the study included both formal and informal mentoring because there is limited research on the mentoring of aspiring principals. Thirty-two states have formal mentoring systems in place for principals, yet lack mentoring for assistant principals (Searby et al., 2017). This study aimed to add to the body of research regarding mentoring and it encourages mixed-race mentoring relationships for aspiring Black principals.


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