June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.1238.1 - 24.1238.13
The PhD Advising Relationship: Needs of Returning and Directing-Pathway StudentsThough a majority of engineering PhD students begin their doctoral career shortly aftercompleting an undergraduate degree (and perhaps a Master’s), a significant minority of studentsare “returners,” students who pursue a PhD after working outside of academia for five or moreyears. In the first phase of a three year NSF-funded study that aims to characterize the populationof returning engineering PhD students, explore the interactions of their previous workexperiences and their academic work, and investigate stakeholder views and institutional policiesrelated to returning PhD students, we developed the nationally distributed Graduate StudentExperiences and Motivations Survey (GSEMS) to compare experiences and perspectives ofreturners and direct-pathway students (those who progress through to the PhD without a 5 yearor more gap). The survey included, among other topics, questions relating to students’relationships with their advisors.The advising relationship is a critical aspect of a PhD student’s experience. For both returningand direct-pathway students, advisors can have a significant effect on students’ research,academic progress, feelings of support, and ultimate success. Based on data collected from bothgroups using the GSEMS, we examined how students described their relationships with theiradvisors. We report analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data, including how studentsassessed their advisors’ effectiveness in meeting their needs in the following areas: availability tomeet, management style, personal supportiveness, feedback on research, assistance withacademic difficulties, and career advice, as well as themes describing advisor relationships. Keyfindings include the lack of significant differences in ways returners and direct-pathway studentsreport what they need from their advisors to feel supported, areas where students feel most andleast supported, and emergent themes from students’ open-ended responses about the advisingrelationship.A better understanding of how engineering graduate students perceive their advising experienceand their advisors’ effectiveness at meeting their needs is important in identifying ways toimprove advising to better support the needs of PhD students in a variety of areas.
Mosyjowski, E., & Daly, S. R., & Peters, D. L., & Skerlos, S., & Baker, A. B. (2014, June), The Ph.D. Advising Relationship: Needs of Returning and Direct-Pathway Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23171
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