2018-2019 Grant in Aid of Research

The Effect of Mentoring on Novice Teacher Retention in Adventist Schools as influenced by Self-efficacy and Positive Organizational Support

Kathleen E. Forbis

Although the positive effects of mentoring are well-documented, little research exists to corroborate these findings in the unique context of Adventist schools. Many Adventist schools are smaller than public schools. Of the 952 schools encompassing early childhood through grade twelve in the North American Division, 37.2% of these schools have only one or two teachers (http://adventisteducation.org/downloads/pdf/2016-17_NAD_Stats.pdf).  Including three-teacher schools, there are a total of 47.4 % of schools with the unintended effect of isolated teachers. Larger Adventist schools may only include one teacher per grade level. Perhaps mentoring may improve teacher retention in Adventist schools, help teachers feel supported and develop self-efficacy.

Formal mentoring programs are not an expectation in every school, but some schools have robust mentoring programs. The Adventist school system is not at the forefront in this area and it is imperative that more formalized support programs are developed. This research will study the relationships between novice teachers and their mentors across the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, to see if mentoring has an effect on novice teacher retention.

This mixed methods study will include two quantitative surveys (one in the spring and one in the fall) of novice teachers and mentors. Qualitative interviews of randomly selected teachers and observations of the mentor/mentee meetings will also be conducted.

The data will be analyzed to determine whether or not having a mentor increases the likelihood of teacher retention, to determine the qualities that are important for a good mentorship program and the characteristics of good mentors. It will also explore the effect of self-efficacy and organizational support on teacher satisfaction and retention. The results of the study have the potential of significantly impacting mentoring in K-12 Seventh-day Adventist schools in the North American Division.