Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Sisters at the helm...A qualitative inquiry of the impact of mentoring on the career paths of five African -American female urban community college presidents

Cynthia K Gooch, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


African-American women have made contributions to education and specifically, higher education in the United States for over one hundred years, despite the hardship that the duality of gender and race has presented to them in America. ^ The principal purpose of this qualitative case study research was to investigate the impact that mentoring relationships had on the career paths of selected, African-American, female community college presidents. Five participants addressed formal and informal mentoring relationships, doctoral mentors, barriers they may have encountered, and professional development. Qualitative methodology was selected as the most fitting technique to allow for an open, flowing dialogue, hence enabling participants to share their story. ^ With each participant, a demographic questionnaire, an interview with open ended questions and review of their vitae were utilized to collect data. The case study design of qualitative research allowed the participants voices to echo and reflect their accounts of their respective mentoring experiences with regard to their careers and their progression to the position of a community college president. ^ The majority of the participants were identified through 2007 The Presidents Roundtable Directory (n.d.). The Presidents Roundtable is a nationwide network of Black expertise and an affiliate organization of the National Council on Black American Affairs of The American Association of Community Colleges. Those not identified through this directory were located by researching the websites of community colleges in the southern and southeastern United States. These participants were purposefully selected from the African-American women, community college presidents in the southern/southeastern United States. ^ Common themes that emerged from the data were motivating forces and major influences, barriers, diversity matters, work/life balance, mentor/protégé relationships and professional development. ^ Respondents discussed benefits and opportunities that resulted from formal and informal mentoring as well as challenges and suggestions for professional development for African-American women desiring the position of a college president.^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Gooch, Cynthia K, "Sisters at the helm...A qualitative inquiry of the impact of mentoring on the career paths of five African -American female urban community college presidents" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3354890.