Okay....so here's the low down. My original research was going to focus on African American males and what drives some of them to be successful and others to not be. I wanted to tie in mentoring programs and research if these programs and positive and meaningful relationships with adults made a difference. It is my belief that they do but I have to remain unbiased during this process. How hard is that??? Well, once discussing this with my professor during my residency and talking it over with my colleagues (which all thought that I had a very relevant topic and that I was ahead of them in my thoughts...although I didn't feel like it) I needed to add a leadership spin on top of my topic because my degree will be in Organizational Leadership. What a mouthful!
With all of that being said, I brain stormed with some colleagues and thought that I might take a look at the leadership traits that successful mentors and mentoring programs possess that causes them to be successful. Problem with this is that I wanted to preform a qualitative study. Now that I have added this spin on my topic, I think that I am going to have to do a mixed methods study because I am going to have to have the data (graduation rates, attendance rates, etc.) to back up what I deem as "successful."
I have been working on chapter two for the past 6 weeks and the more I write and research, the more I think that I am going to have to rethink this. I feel like my passion towards my new topic is not quite there. I didn't originally want to look at the mentors and their leadership traits....I wanted to take a look at it from the students point of view. ALTHOUGH....if I look at it from the mentors view, it would be easier as far as the approval paperwork when I get to complete my study. As I'm typing this I am actually having a new idea...I could perform an online study through survey monkey for the mentors to collect their points of view on the traits, etc and collect the data from the school house. Hmmm....I am really going to have to think this thing through.
So, that is where I am...Chapter 2 is kicking my behind. It is really causing me to think outside of the box and narrow down my exact focus. I have read sooooo much research on my topic and so many other dissertations and while there is supportive research about mentoring programs and that they do assist in academic growth, there is a gap in the research in terms of the leadership traits that they possess that make them successful.
We will see...thanks for reading as I continue on my doctoral journey! Below are some pictures from my trip.