Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

James Coviello

Second Advisor

Catherine DiMartino

Third Advisor

Ceceilia Parnther


Literature has suggested that mentorship is one of the most influential components of career advancement. However, for Black women in higher education administrative roles, mentorship also serves to garner community and support. This research study focuses on the lived experiences of Black women administrators in higher education institutions, the obstacles they face in pursuit of support and career advancement, and how they benefited from a relationship with a mentor. This descriptive phenomenological qualitative study was implemented by conducting in-depth interviews with a small sample of (6) six African American women administrators from various higher education institutions located in the Northeast, West Coast, and Midwest regions of the United States. This phenomenological qualitative study was conducted to understand and describe the lived experiences mentorship for a select group of Black women leaders in higher education, using Black feminist thought as the theoretical framework. A purposive sample of six Black women leaders in higher education participated in in-depth interviews that were video recorded through Cisco Webex. The collected data were transcribed and used to construct seven major themes and through the processes of using initial coding, in vivo coding, and descriptive coding. The major themes included the mentor’s contributions, organic connections, relational experiences, and dual role. The findings from this study indicate that for this select group of Black women mentorship played a pivotal role in the advancement of their professional and leadership development, but not without challenges.