Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Dr. Stephen E. Craig
Dr. Gary H. Bischof
Dr. Marianne E. Di Pierro
Dr. Joseph R. Morris
High attrition rates among doctoral students are of great concern. Based on national statistics in the United States, at least 50% of students who start a doctoral program do not complete their degree (Council of Graduate Schools, 2008; Lovitts, 2000). Although factors leading to attrition can vary given the individual student and the discipline, the faculty-student relationship is the most commonly noted problematic factor across disciplines (Fedynich & Bain, 2011; Lovitts, 2001). However, the research on doctoral advisor-advisee relationships remains sparse, particularly in counselor education (Protivnak & Foss, 2009).
The purpose of this study was to explore the demographic profile of counselor educators during the dissertation phase of their doctoral programs by examining counselor educators’ expectations of an ideal mentor, perceptions of their advisory working alliance and perceptions of their advisors’ willingness to mentor, as experienced during the dissertation phase of their doctoral programs. Additionally, this study explored the relationship of these perceptions and cross-cultural advising based on differing gender, race, or both with time-to-degree.
This study was motivated by five research questions: (1) What were the ideal mentor expectations of counselor educators during the dissertation phase of their doctoral programs? (2) What were the perceived advisory working alliance experiences of counselor educators during the dissertation phase of their doctoral programs? (3) What is the relationship between perceived advisory working alliance as measured by the AWAI-S and time-to-degree? (4) What is the relationship between perceived willingness to mentor and time-to-degree? (5) What is the relationship between cross-cultural advising based on differing gender, race, or both and time-to-degree?
The research design chosen for this study was retrospective cross-sectional survey design. The data were collected through three online self-administered instruments (a) the Ideal Mentor Scale (IMS; Rose 2003, 2005); (b) the Advisory Working Alliance Inventory-Student Version (AWAI-S; Schlosser & Gelso, 2001); and (c) a demographic questionnaire. The researcher utilized a purposive sampling method to solicit full-time and adjunct counselor educators working in CACREP-accredited master’s and doctoral counseling programs across the United States. Participants were encouraged to reflect on their experience during the dissertation phase of their doctoral program.
The findings support that the phenomenon of mentoring in doctoral education is as valued and expected in Counselor Education as it is in other disciplines. However, there was neither a statistically significant relationship between time-to-degree and perception of dissertation advisory working alliance, nor did advisory working alliance, perception of advisor’s willingness to mentor, or cross-cultural advising relationships predict time-to-degree. However, expectations of an ideal mentor and the perceptions of the advisory working alliance provided insight into the dissertation advising experiences of counselor educators. Limitations of this study, implications for Counselor Education and doctoral training and recommendations for future research are identified.
Wells, LaSonda, "Dimensions of the Doctoral Dissertation Advising Relationship in Counselor Education: Mentoring Expectations, Satisfaction, and Time-to-Degree" (2016). Dissertations. 1944.