Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Kristine Webb

Second Advisor

Dr. Matthew Ohlson

Rights Statement

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Cornett

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Amanda Pascale

Department Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Gregg

College Dean

Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey


Mentoring is an effective tool for the professional development of novice teachers (Eby & Lockwood 2005; Kram, 1985; Stanulis & Ames, 2009). Mentors to preservice teachers have conveyed that they receive benefits and face barriers when mentoring (Ambrosetti, 2014; Burk & Eby, 2010; Hobson, Ashby, Malderez, & Tomlinson, 2009; Iancu-Haddad & Oplatka, 2009). Graduate students who serve as mentors to undergraduates have also reported advantages and drawbacks to being a mentor (Conway, Eros, Pellegrino, Kras, Gale, & Campbell, 2009; Reddick, Griffin, & Cherwitz, 2011). This study examined the perceived benefits and barriers for graduate students serving as mentors to undergraduate, preservice teachers. It also considered the affect that graduate school had on a teacher’s decision to engage in a mentoring relationship. The participants were all PK-12 teachers who were also graduate students in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) at the University of North Florida (UNF). The data for this qualitative case study was collected through semi-structured interviews. Findings yielded three themes (helps me, helps others, helps profession) which summarized the perceived benefits and barriers for graduate students mentoring preservice teachers. The results were connected to the Social Exchange Theory and it was determined that some graduate students will weigh rewards and costs before deciding to mentor, while others will lean more towards rewards or costs regardless. This study may have implications for undergraduate and graduate curriculum, mentor matching, and for mentor training.