The Positive Impact of Faculty Mentorship Throughout a Doctoral Program

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Faculty mentors play a significant role in a student’s doctoral program. This discovery session will engage attendees in an open discussion of the positive impacts of faculty mentorship and potential methods of improving student engagement through mentorship. Specific attention will be given to online doctoral programs and the dissertation process.

Extended Abstract

Research indicates that faculty mentorship provides the needed academic guidance and personal connection that many students desire and require to be successful in higher education. Faculty mentors generally provide students with both academic and career guidance as well as psychosocial support; thus, mentor relationships have been shown to positively impact student retention, student connections and feelings towards their education, dissertation completion and research productivity, and students’ potential career advancement. The research literature specifically documents the positive impacts of faculty and student mentor relationships with doctoral level students, first generation college students, and minority and female students. While traditional mentoring has generally taken place face-to-face, the growth of online education has created the need for mentoring to take place from a distance, yet to still produce the same supportive results. This discovery session will focus on the methods of creating and building a constructive faculty and student mentor relationship in online doctoral programs through the uses of technology and e-learning as a method of creating engagement in students’ learning, research interests, and future career success. Specific attention will be given to the needs and means of faculty mentors throughout the dissertation process.

The session will begin with a brief introduction of the role of faculty mentors at the doctoral level.  The discover session will then move to a brief introduction of the presenters current and potential research interests in the area.  The session will then conclude with audience feedback and questions.

Though all participants are welcome to attend for an informative look into the role of faculty mentorship at the doctoral level, intermediate and advanced level participants at the higher ed level will potentially gain the most benefits from the session. Participants will engage in the material through interactive questions and answers and audience contributions.

Learning outcomes of the workshop include:

  1. Workshop participants will gain an understanding of the role and benefits of faculty mentors in online doctoral programs.
  2. Workshop participants will be exposed to the current trends and methods utilized to develop faculty mentor relationships with students in online doctoral programs.
  3. Workshop participants will discuss potential research opportunities associated with faculty mentorship in online learning.