Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Major Professor

William H. Young

Keywords

Alternative Teacher Certification, Community Colleges, Educator Preparation Institutes, Mentoring, Teacher Training Programs

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to explore how college alternative teacher certification (ATC) participants experience mentoring support. The goal was to obtain a rich and deep understanding of the nature of the mentoring experience in a college ATC program through the perspectives of mentees and their mentors. The ATC program was the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI).

Semi-structured interviews were conducted. Eight individuals participated in the study, four were mentors and four were EPI students. A triangulated set of research methods for data collection and analysis was used, including member checks, validation forms, and peer reviews. All the interviews were transcribed; data was subsequently analyzed for patterns.

The findings indicated that students believed, while the course work was clear and well structured, the fieldwork aspect of the program was not. The topic of fieldwork disconnect between the college and the host schools was repeatedly observed as a challenge by the EPI students and identified as lack of support. All eight of the EPI study participants discussed lack of time and span of control issues in their interviews.

Some implications that surfaced from this study included the desire for more one-on-one time, eliminating confusion in arranging field experiences, and assistance in learning to direct their own experiences. Other implications that emerged from this study included offering diversified instruction to college EPI students, such as different courses depending on the intended grade level, and building a working relationship with the host schools that would expedite the training of the EPI students. Finally, more in-depth knowledge, and hands-on practice in the field was a perceived need by all the EPI students which calls for alterations in the EPI program design and number of faculty to operate each EPI program.