Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Ronald Williamson, EdD,

Committee Member

Peggy Liggit, PhD, EdD,

Committee Member

Carmen McCallum, PhD,

Committee Member

Jaclynn Tracy, PhD,


The road to doctoral completion is often fraught with barriers, self-doubt, and complications. Creighton, Creighton, and Parks (2010, Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 18(1), 39-52. doi:10.1080/13611260903448342) asserted that mentoring plays a crucial role in the development and success of graduate students, especially those in doctoral programs. The mentorship of doctoral students can also assist in alleviating the attrition rates that are currently estimated to be between 40% and 60%. In this quantitative study, correlational and stepwise regression analyses were conducted to examine the most beneficial qualities currently enrolled doctoral students find in a mentor and to describe the relationship between the qualities of a mentoring experience and doctoral students’ satisfaction with their program. This study analyzed data collected from currently enrolled doctoral students (n = 339) through the use of online Facebook and LinkedIn doctoral groups. The findings of this study suggested that higher reported levels of program satisfaction were significantly correlated to mentor satisfaction rates. Further, academic and instrumental mentoring scales were reported by respondents to be most beneficial qualities in a mentor. Findings of this study offered evidence that institutional and department leaders of doctoral programs can implement mentoring programs and, moreover, provide faculty members’ opportunities to build mentoring of doctoral students into their faculty loads. Leaders everywhere should recognize the importance of mentorship benefits not only to students, but also to program satisfaction, retention, and degree completion.