The purpose of this study is to understand graduate student’s experience with mentorship in their educational pursuits, as well as the implications of mentorship on the student’s personal and professional development within a graduate student affairs program in higher education. The research questions guiding this study are: (a) in what ways have graduate students in a master's program in student affairs experienced mentorship? And (b) how has mentorship impacted their (graduate students) personal and professional development? Utilizing instrumental case study methodology with a phenomenological data collection instrument, three graduate student participants met individually with the researcher for two 60-90 minute interviews across seven weeks and composed a series of two reflective journals. The application of a phenomenological instrument bounded within a case study developed a deeper understanding of mentorship experiences for graduate student participants within the context of a graduate program in student affairs. Moreover, the qualitative nature of the methodology and instrumentation focused the data collected on actual student voice, which has been shown to be lacking in relevant student affairs literature. Results from this study indicate a clear definition of mentorship in student affairs, as well as a set of characteristics that are common to the participant’s mentors. Participants also reflected on the implications of negative and positive mentoring experiences, as well as the value of mentorship within student affairs graduate education. Finally, participants considered a combined approach between faculty and professional staff in student affairs graduate preparatory education and the implications for future programmatic reform.
Linetty, J. (2021). Mentorship Matters: An Instrumental Case Study of Mentorship in a Student Affairs Graduate Preparatory Program. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.wcupa.edu/liter_stuwork/1