Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


The Roles of Mentoring and Family Support in the Development of Asian Pacific American Female Leaders

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patrick Pauken

Second Advisor

Mark A. Earley (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Patricia A. Groves (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Judy Jackson May (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Ruben Viramontez Anguiano (Committee Member)


Research shows that there is a low number of Asian American women administrators in higher education institutions across the United States. The purpose of this life history study was to explore the lives of Asian Pacific American (APA) women in administration in predominately White public and private institutions of higher education in the Midwest. More specifically the study focused on the roles of mentoring and family support, and how they may have enhanced the professional lives of APA women.

Five APA female middle level higher education administrators in the Midwest took part in the study. Data was collected from individual interviews with follow up questions and clarification via email. Data was then analyzed cross participants.

Findings revealed that mentoring was a beneficial tool. The participants believed that their advancement in their careers was assisted by their mentors. Moreover, gender of the mentor did not make a difference in mentoring. Given the option to be mentored, these APA women were willing to take it. Findings also revealed that family was a support system for APAs. Family was found to be encouraging and supportive. Family (parents) not only emphasized education and hard work, but had high expectations.

Themes which emerged from the data include political or civil rights involvement, enjoyment of living in the Midwest, the Asian American generation and mentoring.

Recommendations for further research and leadership are also discussed.