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ERIC Number: ED568274
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 274
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3038-4312-9
The Impact of Mentoring on the Ascension of Senior Student Affairs Officers to the College Presidency
Hamluk, Brian Frederick
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The George Washington University
In comparison to other backgrounds of college and university presidents (e.g., chief academic officers, finance, institutional advancement, etc.) few presidents in American higher education achieve the presidency from a senior-level position within student affairs, and mentoring of senior student affairs officers may play a role in assisting them in achieving the college presidency. This exploratory, descriptive, multiple interview research project explored the impact of mentoring on the ascension of senior student affairs officers to the college presidency. This study examined the research question: For people who advanced to college and university presidencies from the student affairs field with the benefit of mentoring assistance, how did these mentors contribute to and influence the preparation of the student affairs professionals in becoming college and university presidents? The research question was operationalized by five subresearch questions. The study was guided by a conceptual framework that was derived from scholarship on mentoring (psychosocial and vocational/career development) and the pathways to the presidency. The four quadrants that emerged from discussions in the mentoring literature and that were incorporated into the conceptual framework were development of management skills, development of leadership abilities, development of desire to pursue a presidency, and development of understanding of career strategies to achieve a presidency. Using a multiple interview design to conduct this exploratory descriptive qualitative dissertation, data were collected using semi-structured interviews and document analysis. This research yielded thick detail about the impact of mentors on the ascension of senior student affairs officers to the college presidency. From the study emerged several within-case and cross-case themes to expand on the conceptual model. The research conducted provided results that demonstrated the impact that mentors play on the ascension of senior student affairs officers to the college presidency. Specifically, mentors were instrumental in developing key skills in senior student affairs officers that helped them ascend to the college presidency, including the development of management skills, the development of leadership skills, the creation of desire to pursue a college presidency, and career strategies to achieve the college presidency, among others. In addition, this research project also provided insight into several emerging themes, including mentoring through informal processes, the impact of multiple mentors, and desire to continue the cycle of mentoring. This study provides implications for beginning student affairs professionals, implications for mentors of student affairs professionals considering the presidency, implications for associations that support student affairs professionals, implications for potential mentors, and implications for formal mentoring programs. In addition, the research conducted for this study also lead to several recommendations for areas of future study, including the role and impact of peer mentors, where to find mentors along the way, and what happens when the mentor moves on and the aspiring professional needs to find mentors of their own age. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A