Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Stella Ann Burns

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Second Advisor

Connie Hodge

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Third Advisor

Peggy Petrilli

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


This study explored the topic of current women administrators and their mentorship experiences. The purpose is to examine if these individuals had a mentor at all and how that relationship evolved. There is a universal graying of administration in Higher Education Leadership and many institutions lack a long-term plan to mentor and replace the administrators after retirement. Many of the current leaders in rural education are approaching retirement opening many opportunities for new leaders to come in. Not only that, but there is a large disparity in the number of women educational leaders. One study by Wallace & Marchant (2009) looked at how females are being prepared for leadership in Australian universities and found an administrative gender gap where women hold only 24% of administrative positions and an age gap where more retirees will leave positions before new employees reach the qualification level. Women are not being prepared for leadership positions and often lack the qualifications to achieve such goals. These findings indicated an issue with learning opportunities, development opportunities, and career mobility. This study aimed to report how mentorship relationships came about and delves into the state of leadership training programs amongst Higher Education Leaders. Along that line it is important to discover if that working relationship helped prepare female administrators for their job and how that experience shaped their career.