Aspirations and Experiences of West Texas Superintendent Certified Women

dc.contributor.committeeChairMendez-Morse, Sylvia
dc.contributor.committeeMemberKlinker, JoAnn F.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberValle, Fernando
dc.creatorDuwe, Karan
dc.description.abstractAspirations and Experiences of West Texas Superintendent Certified Women Abstract The purpose of this phenomenological inquiry is to discover the common experiences of women school administrators that influence and hinder their aspirations of becoming school district superintendents. This qualitative study examines the aspirations and experiences of superintendent certified women in West Texas. It is framed in Shakeshaft’s Stages of Research on Women in Administration. Research questions guiding this study were: 1. What specific experiences and motivations influenced aspiring female administrators to attain certification for superintendency? 2. What is happening to qualified women school administrators that cause them not to pursue a superintendent position? The research design is qualitative using in-depth interviews and an online discussion forum so the participants could respond to each other. Eight women were selected to participate in the study with half having applied for a superintendent position. Results show that women attain their superintendent certification (1) out of convenience, adding the courses to the end of their principal certification program, (2) to prepare themselves for any opportunities they may encounter in the future and (3) for professional development. Factors that cause the women to lose their aspirations are (1) lack of mobility, (2) lack of access to information, (3) gender discrimination, (4) lack of mentoring, (5) school boards that won’t consider women and (6) the ‘Good Ole Boy Network’. This study adds to the knowledge concerning the lack of female superintendents and the factors that cause women who have attained superintendent certification not to pursue that position. It contributes to the data in Shakeshaft’s stage 4 in which women are studied on their own terms and stage 5 in which women challenge theory. This study also contributes to the preparation of women to become superintendents by revealing experiences and perceptions of other women and adding to new theoretical perspectives of educational leadership that includes both men’s and women’s experiences.
dc.titleAspirations and Experiences of West Texas Superintendent Certified Women