Date of Award

Summer 8-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Chair

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Chair Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 2

Dr. Richard Mohn

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Dr. Thomas Lipscomb

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Dr. James T. Johnson

Abstract

In this study, there was a convenience sample of 145 doctoral students from 35 states and the District of Columbia. The demographic breakdown of the participants was 101 females and 44 males, with an age range of 22 through 68 years of age, and there were 98 Caucasian and 23 African American participants. The modal doctoral student was 36 years old, heterosexual, Caucasian, and female in the dissertation phase of pursuing a PhD. In this study, the modal doctoral student defined an ideal mentor as someone who functions as a role model, and demonstrated integrity, provided guidance, and developed a professional relationship with the doctoral student, yet the doctoral student did not indicate the need for a personal relationship with his or her mentor. The modal doctoral student described the most important characteristics in a mentor as one who exhibits traits of academic honesty, is involved in the student’s decision process, has belief in the student and the student’s potential, is generous with time, and someone who was happy and emotionally stable. The modal doctoral student described his/her current mentor as accomplished, academically honest, possessing belief in the student, providing clear focus, and who brainstormed solutions to research issues. In this study, the modal doctoral student did not distinguish between an actual mentor and an ideal mentor on two of the IMS subscales, Integrity and Relationship. In the IMS Guidance subscale, the modal doctoral student scored the current mentor significantly lower than an ideal mentor, suggesting the need for improvement in that area. The modal doctoral student described the advisor as showing belief in the student, showing kindness, encouragement, respect, productiveness, generosity with time, and being someone to emulate. In this study, the modal doctoral student did not indicate many differences between an advisor and a mentor, suggesting that the same person may fill both roles.

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