Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Mitchell Henke

Second Advisor

LaTonya Bolden


The work-role transition from clinician to educator involves the dental hygienist creating a new identity as a dental hygiene educator. Insider guidance through peer mentorship may help support and acclimate new faculty during this work-role transition. The purpose of this qualitative narrative inquiry was to explore the experiences of adjunct clinical dental hygiene faculty with peer mentorship as they transitioned from the role of clinician to educator. Five participants who met the criteria for this study completed semi-structured, virtual interviews via Zoom. These interviews were restoried into narratives, categorized, and then manually coded into themes. The categories included development of teaching skills, confidence levels, and lack of formal orientation. The themes identified were acclimation, expectations, and support. Each of the five participants had similar experiences regarding lack of formal orientation in their new role, which contributed to lack of confidence. While the participants expressed their frustrations with the unique challenges that they faced as novice dental hygiene instructors, they each expressed a similar sense of gratitude for colleagues whom they considered to be unofficial mentors. Recommendations for further action include that all new dental hygiene faculty be provided with standardized institutional orientation, that all adjunct clinical dental hygiene instructors who are first-time teachers be assigned a mentor, and that all new dental hygiene faculty undergo a formal assessment process to ascertain their level of knowledge and skill.


Ed.D. Dissertation



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