Title

A Mentoring Program and Its Impact On Teacher Retention In a Large Urban School District In Oklahoma

Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

T. Colette Smith

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which a mentor program is impacting teacher longevity and retention among teachers in one school district in Oklahoma. This study examined the relationships among the variables of veteran teachers' perceptions and experiences of mentoring (for those who have been mentored) and the level of contribution their mentor made in their decision to stay in the teaching profession. The subjects for this study were 228 teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools teaching in the second largest school district in the state of Oklahoma. Teachers selected for this study had at least five years and not more than twenty years of classroom teaching experience. Survey research using both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used in this investigative study. A written questionnaire provided data for the quantitative component, followed by face-to-face interviews with ten volunteer teachers to gather information needed for the qualitative component. The quantitative component of the study indicated that females were benefiting more than males from mentoring. The majority of mentoring relationships involved one or two mentors, lasted from one to four years, and were a combination of formal and informal. Over 80% of the teachers perceived that their mentoring relationship had helped in their staying in the teaching profession. The qualitative component identified the following themes that emerged from the data analysis: (a) Perceptions and Issues of the Mentoring Program, (b) Mentoring Characteristics and Qualities, (c) Mentoring Relationships: Formal and Informal, and (d) Mentoring Experiences.