Date of Award

Summer 9-1-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Education: Curriculum and Teaching

First Advisor

Marshall A. George

Second Advisor

Sherry L. Deckman

Third Advisor

Bonnie Keilty

Academic Program Adviser

Marshall A. George


Mentoring has been attributed to lowering attrition rates of teachers. At present, the majority of teachers in the United States are White and female. The national teacher workforce does not represent the student body. Although there have been recent initiatives to improve the diversity within the teacher workforce, by explicitly recruiting teachers of color (TOC), the attrition rates of these teachers are negating the effects of recruitment efforts. Previous research has pointed to the need to consider race in novice TOC mentee and mentor matches, as cultural capital theory suggests common knowledge and experience may lead to stronger mentor relationships which may ultimately lower attrition rates of teachers of color. This qualitative study explored the experiences of TOC in mentoring relationships and the role race may have played in that experience. Additionally, this study explored the experiences of mentor teachers who mentored TOC and the impact race may have had on their mentoring experience. Data gathered from one-on-one interviews suggest TOCs mentoring experience often do not align with what they want or feel they need to succeed in the classroom. Additionally, TOC felt racial affinity with their mentor provided a safe-space. For mentors of TOC, race also mattered in the mentoring relationship. Cross-racial mentors mostly provided professional support to their mentees, while mentors in same-race mentoring relationships were able to also provide socio-emotional support to their mentees. Moving forward, more needs to be done to provide the support novice teachers of color want and need. More thoughtful matching of mentors to mentees needs to occur. All mentors of TOC should receive mentor training to teach them how to use culturally responsive and sustaining mentoring strategies to support their mentee holistically.



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