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ERIC Number: ED560334
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 107
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-9821-6
African-American Women and Dissertation Chairs: Portraits of Successful Advising Relationships
Kohlman, Antoinette
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Alliant International University
By focusing on the problem of graduate student persistence, researchers have tended to either discount or ignore the impact and value of advising relationships as a context for the successful completion of a doctoral program. Little information exists regarding the advising experiences and relationships between African-American female doctoral students and their chairs. This study used a survey as an initial screening tool to identify a sample of African-American female alumnae who attributed much of their doctoral completion success to their advisor or the advising relationship. A qualitative data collection strategy of individual interviews with eligible alumnae and their dissertation chairs followed the survey. The aim of this study was to share the perspective of African-American women and their dissertation chairs in the context of successful advising relationships. The participants were all African-American women who graduated with an Ed.D, Ph.D., or Psy.D. degree from Alliant International University between 2004 and 2010 and their dissertation chairs. Results of the study demonstrated that successful advising relationships serve as the context for a two-way rather than a one-way developmental process that culminates in degree attainment for the student and promotes growth in advising competencies for the chair. While each advising relationship was unique, the study revealed three common factors or principles that were central to successful advising relationships: (1) cultivating supportive relationships (2) mutual commitment to student success, and (3) effective feedback processes. Cultivating supportive relationships was viewed as a continual process of strengthening and deepening the advising relationship by sharing comments of reassurance, encouragement, and gratitude. Mutual commitment was characterized by actions that advanced the student through key milestones in the dissertation process. Typically the chair and student described their commitment as a shared investment that required diligence, empathy, and regard. Feedback processes were viewed as reciprocal exchanges typified by giving, receiving, and acting upon feedback. For alumnae, chair feedback focused on student progress as well as the quality and content of the dissertation. For chairs, student feedback promoted their growth and development as mentors or advisors. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California