Investigating the effectiveness of a formal principals' mentoring program
Skillestad Bangert, Kareen Mary
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between the National Association of Elementary School Principals formal mentoring program attributes and perceptions of protégés and mentors of program effectiveness. Program attributes examined included training prior to mentoring, input into the mentoring process, Mentor Commitment and Program Understanding. The participants for this quantitative study consisted of 201 mentors and 80 protégés who participated in the National Association of Elementary School Principals'(NAESP) formal mentor certification program. Both mentors and protégés were asked to complete a questionnaire adapted from research conducted by Allen, Eby & Lentz (2006b) to assess their perceptions of Mentor Commitment, Mentor Program Understanding, training prior to participation in formal mentoring, input into the mentoring process and Perceived Program Effectiveness. Data from both protégé and mentor questionnaire using multiple regression was used to develop a path model to investigate the relationships between formal mentoring program attributes and Perceived Program Effectiveness for NAESP's formal mentor certification program. Results from the analysis of the protégé questionnaire responses found the program attributes variables to have a significant and direct relationship with Perceived Program Effectiveness were Training Quality and Program Understanding. The effects of Training Quality on Perceived Program Effectiveness was significantly mediated when passing through Program Understanding but not Mentor Commitment. Similar results were found for the multiple regression analysis used to determine the path coefficients for the mentor results. In addition to Training Quality and Program Understanding, received training and match-input was also significantly related to Perceived Program Effectiveness. Training hours, match input and voluntary participation were not found an important attributes for explaining protégés Perceived Program Effectiveness. For the mentors, the relationship of the program attributes variables of Received Training and Training Quality with Perceived Program Effectiveness was found to be significantly mediated by Program Understanding only. Findings from this study suggest including training prior to formal mentoring and the quality of training is essential for creating an effective formal mentoring program. Establishing mentoring programs that create committed mentors and promoting Program Understanding through quality training will increase the effectiveness of the mentor experience for both protégés and mentors.