Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Chad Becker, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Chris Jenkins, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kallen Dace, Ed.D.


The purpose of this study was to understand how university-based mentoring facilitates the acquisition of leadership skills in aspiring principals and if aspiring principals are able to make direct connections between authentic leadership responsibilities and what they experienced during their fieldwork. University-based leadership preparation programs are expected to produce graduates who can lead schools to successful outcomes. However, many of those programs do not provide sufficient mentoring support that allows aspiring leaders to experience authentic leadership challenges while being supervised by experts in the field. A multiple case study design was used to examine three cases to investigate the concept of university-based mentoring in leadership preparation programs. The study explored the mentoring experiences of selected leadership preparation graduates and followed them into their current leadership roles to learn how they made sense of that work subsequent to graduation. The results of this study provided insight into the strategies needed to prepare aspiring leaders to meet the demands of increased leadership accountability. In order for graduates of leadership preparation programs to experience success once they are hired into leadership positions, they must not only possess the knowledge and skills needed to be effective, they must also possess a certain confidence and self-awareness that moves them to function at the highest level possible early on in their new positions.

Included in

Education Commons