Date of Award


Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Barbara Schoenbeck

Second Reader

Lynn Gehrke


professional development, early childhood education, mentorship


There is great disparity in the standards and requirements for early care and education practitioners. Programs are challenged with a lack of resources to attract and retain qualified staff. Teaching staff may come to their work with minimal preparation and training. This negatively impacts the quality of the early care and education program. Mentoring has the promise of improving the quality of early care and education programs. Pairing a novice teacher with the coaching of an experienced mentor can provide the needed support and encouragement to enable the novice teacher to develop into an effective practitioner.

Because the mentor relationship results in a more effective novice teacher, as well as in the renewed commitment of the mentor, it increases the stability of teaching staff, which results in a higher level of quality for the early care and education setting in which the participants work. The mentoring relationship can be an effective vehicle for building a disposition for reflective practice. Mentoring programs that are successful can spark the implementation of mentoring in more early care and education settings. This will positively impact the quality of the early care and education field as a whole.

The focus of this project was the creation of a handbook for early care and education settings to use in establishing a mentoring program for teaching staff. The handbook provides guidelines and materials needed to implement and support a mentoring process that will enhance professional skills and promote effective teaching practices.


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