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Assessment Of The Mentoring Relationship Between The Faculty And Graduate Students At Purdue University

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Mentoring Graduate Students

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.261.1 - 14.261.30



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Paper Authors

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Sorraya Khiewnavawongsa Purdue University

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Edie Schmidt Purdue University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Purdue University is world renowned for many of its graduate programs. In 2006-2007 academic year, there were more than 7,000 graduate students enrolled at Purdue University [1], West Lafayette campus and about 2,000 tenure track faculty worked with these graduate students both in Master and Ph.D. level. Several studies on the relationship between graduate student and their advisors have been conducted in the past. These studies are concerned with various issues affecting the mentoring relationship. However, there has never been a study on this mentoring relationship specifically at Purdue University.

This project is a study of the mentor relationship between mentor and mentee, or faculty and graduate students at Purdue University. Graduate students were invited to participate in the survey through email. The survey was conducted online anonymously. This study consists of quantitative and qualitative analysis. The existing mentoring relationships are identified in order to see what types of relationship are beneficial and not beneficial. Statistical analysis is provided to support the findings. Results of this study clarify perceived problems between the faculty and graduate students and identify what the faculty and graduate students expect from each other, and what they need to improve their relationship.


A mentor is defined as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher” at and mentoring means to serve as a trusted counselor or teacher[2]. However, in education, especially in graduate study, a mentor refers to more than just counseling and teaching. According to Campbell and Campbell (2000), “mentoring refers to a situation in which a more- experienced member of an organization maintains a relationship with a less-experienced, often new member to the organization and provides information, support, and guidance so as to enhance the less-experienced member's chances of success in the organization and beyond.” [3] The goal of the mentoring relationship is to enhance the student's academic success and to facilitate the progression to post-graduate plans, either graduate study or a career in the workplace. In the university setting, graduate students might receive mentoring from either their advisor or non-advisor. This study concentrates on mentoring relationship between graduate students and their advisor. Faculty advisor can be either research advisor or academic advisor. However, it is common that graduate students’ works are most focused on research. It can be assumed that mentor in this study is referred to research advisor.

From the Purdue data digest, there are 1,832 tenure track and 863 non-tenure track faculty members from 11 colleges and schools, along with 7,023 graduate students enrolled during the 2006-2007 academic year[1]. Each tenure track faculty serves approximately 3.8 graduate students. The Purdue University Graduate School has recognized the need to equip faculty with mentoring skills, in order to enhance the graduate student and faculty relationship. Consequently, the Graduate School has stated as one of its strategic goals to emphasize mentoring relationships between graduate students and faculty. A necessary first step in enhancing mentoring relationships is to develop a measure of how successful current graduate student and faculty mentoring relationships are.

Khiewnavawongsa, S., & Schmidt, E. (2009, June), Assessment Of The Mentoring Relationship Between The Faculty And Graduate Students At Purdue University Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5280

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