Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Priscilla Jeter-Isles

Second Advisor

Dr. Kira Baker-Doyle

Third Advisor

Dr. Sonia Rosen



In the United States approximately 20% of new teachers leave within the first 3 years (Hayes, 2004 and Henke et al., 2000), and within 5 years up to 50% leave the profession (Ingersoll, 2003). Attrition rates were highest in urban schools and schools serving low-income and minority students leading to an inequitable distribution of quality and experienced teachers (Lankford et al., 2002, OECD, 2005 and Provasnik & Dorfman, 2005a).

The purpose of this study was to reimagine mentoring as a part of the induction program, the Umoja Model, to support new Black teachers as they join urban educational environments. This qualitative study was conducted over five months. An action research framework in conjunction with grounded theory framework was used to understand what was happening to and with new Black teachers in an urban school. Using face-to-face interviews, observations and collected artifacts, an understanding of the supports necessary to reduce the attrition of new Black teachers from urban schools was sought. Attributes necessary for participation included Black teachers who were novice, 1 to 3 years teaching in the urban school.

The data collected in this study showed that participants required four things in order to have a successful first year: consistency, personal connections, affirmation of their racial identity and experiences, and self-care. These themes contributed to the development of a reimagined mentoring program called the Umoja Model, which included two components: 1) best-fit mentorship; and 2) an induction program specifically tailored to new Black teachers.