Peer and Faculty Mentoring for Students Pursuing a PHD in Gerontology

Webb, Alicia and Wangmo, Tenzin and Ewen, Heidi H. and Teaster, Pamela and Hatch, Laurie R.. (2009) Peer and Faculty Mentoring for Students Pursuing a PHD in Gerontology. Educational Gerontology, 35 (12). pp. 1089-1106.

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The Graduate Center for Gerontology at the University of Kentucky incorporates three levels of mentoring in its PhD program. This project assessed satisfaction with peer and faculty mentoring and explored their perceived benefits and purposes. Core and affiliate faculty and current and graduated students were surveyed. Participants seemed satisfied with the mentoring they were giving and receiving, although all groups discussed limitations. Peer mentors were seen as social support and advice givers, while faculty mentors were viewed as responsible for direction and skill-building. These results can contribute to the development of new mentorship programs and the modification of existing ones.
This article represents a portion of a larger study of a trio of mentoring components of a doctoral program in gerontology, conducted by the program's own mentoring committee. The mentoring committee was comprised of faculty and student representatives who sought to improve mentoring within the doctoral program. The current article focuses on the faculty and peer mentoring components of the program.
Faculty mentors are generally mutually chosen by students and affected faculty members prior to mentees' arrivals to campus or during the first few weeks of the first semester. Generally, pairings are based on shared research interests. Faculty members assign faculty mentors to students who have not chosen specific research interests or who do not have interests directly comparable to any faculty mentor in the department. The faculty mentor is the student's primary instructor for determining classes to take and how to conduct research, teach, provide service to a department, write grants, and publish articles.
Peer mentors are students who have been involved with the program for at least one year who are randomly paired with incoming students by a volunteering student or faculty member before the new students arrive on campus. Peer mentors are expected to help mentees with more informal concerns such as housing and dining options. Initially, they serve as campus and program navigators. Peer mentors also give advice on the program from the perspective of someone who has “been there.”
Mentorship is a vital part of higher education. Mentoring is defined in many different ways and utilized for many different purposes, depending upon the type of program and the caliber of students. Both faculty members and peers may serve as effective mentors in different ways. Previous studies have focused on the purpose and benefits of various types of mentoring, the process that mentoring relationships go through over time, and the potential scope of mentoring benefits.
Faculties and Departments:08 Cross-disciplinary Subjects > Ethik > Institut für Bio- und Medizinethik
UniBasel Contributors:Wangmo, Tenzin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:03 Jan 2018 09:35
Deposited On:03 Jan 2018 09:35

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