Counseling and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Date of Award


Degree Level


LCSH subject

Mentoring in education




St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Texas)

Size or duration

xi, 324 pages

Document Type


First Advisor

Comstock-Benzick, Dana L.


The quality of the relationship between mentors and mentees has gained considerable research interest in business-related fields but little ground in the academic sphere. This study examined the effectiveness of an existing faculty mentoring program that had been underway for several years at a small, private, religiously affiliated university. A convergent, parallel, mixed methods design was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data. Current and former undergraduate participants of the mentoring program were invited to volunteer for online surveys assessing the quality of their mentoring relationship in the program. That same pool was also invited to volunteer for group interviews. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine differences in the quality of mentoring relationships, and regression analysis was conducted to determine how different qualities of the mentoring relationship predicted mentoring outcomes. Quantitative results indicated no statistical significance for quality differences and mentoring outcome. Relationship quality, as measured by concepts of authenticity, empowerment, and engagement, was not found to predict mentoring outcomes. The qualitative analyses revealed five themes: 1) faculty and peer mentoring differences, 2) the influences of networking on the mentee, 3) mentees' need for resources and information, 4) the mentees' need to be meaningful and purposeful, and 5) the influence of role modeling. The divergent result in the quantitative and qualitative strands did not demonstrate an association between relationship quality and mentoring outcomes. Therefore, secondary qualitative analysis was conducted within the framework of the concepts of authenticity, empowerment, and engagement. These results revealed that the quality of the relationship between mentor and mentee lead to continued participation in the academic mentoring program or cessation of participation altogether. The results of this research demonstrated that careful academic mentor selection and rigorous mentor training do not mitigate mentees' negative experiences. Implications for academic mentoring programs include the recommendation that universities take a semi-structured approach to academic mentor selection and build in a trial period where mentees can opt-out or opt-in with a differently available mentor(s). A fluid path to mentor assignment can increase the likelihood of mentees having positive experiences, resulting in their continued participation in academic mentoring programs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.