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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Improving the mentoring experience for pre-college program participants through organizational change and leadership
by McCargo, Donavan D., Ed.D., Rowan University, 2011, 276; 3439883
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative action research investigated the experiences of mentors and program participants of a pre-college program designed to assist students in grades 7-12 progress through secondary education and eventually pursue a college degree. The pre-college program afterschool mentoring component played a significant role in keeping program participants engaged and encouraged to follow the footsteps of mentors that were enrolled in college.

Over the course of one year, I interviewed, observed, and participated in activities with program participants, mentors, and professional staff. The findings of this research suggested that despite organizational dysfunction, limited mentor training, structured programs, and oversight of the mentoring component, mentors still persisted in developing and sustaining valuable interactions and effective relationships with program participants. Kotter‘s (1996) Eight Stage Change Model and Bolman and Deal‘s (2003) four frames of understanding an organization, served as the guide to analyzing the organization.

While limited institutional support, leadership, and human resource concerns were evident at the organizational level of the pre-college program, the organization‘s commitment to serving its program participants remained paramount. The unique dichotomy found in this research suggested that while one aspect of an organization may experience some level of dysfunction, another aspect of the same organization may function successfully. This research also provided evidence to suggest mentoring is a naturally evolving process and successful mentoring requires a commitment for mentors to possess specific qualities, values, and characteristics.

Though this research was critical for improving an organization, at the core of this research was how this research influenced my personal leadership perspectives. Helping others, including an organization to improve, provided a valuable opportunity to grow and develop as a leader. The impact and significance of self-evaluation, reflection, and being evaluated by others, had a profound effect on my approach to transformational style of leadership. What became evident was that while my leadership theory was comprised of four separate leadership perspectives, each perspective had an important role in how I viewed the concepts of change and leadership.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Coaxum, James, III
Commitee: Damminger, Joanne, Walpole, MaryBeth
School: Rowan University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 72/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: Leadership, Mentoring, Mentoring relationships, Organization culture, Precollege program, Transformational leadership
Publication Number: 3439883
ISBN: 978-1-124-45840-3
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