Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Katherine M. Kasten

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher Janson

Third Advisor

Dr. H. Eugene Baker III


The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of new professionals in college student affairs as protégés in mentoring relationships. This study was designed as an exploratory study into the types of mentoring relationships that exist among college student affairs professionals, using Q methodology. The profession of college student affairs can use mentoring relationships to help recruit, train, develop, and retain high-quality individuals. Although mentoring relationships are frequently used to develop college student affairs professions, little is known about these relationships.

Fifty-five new professionals in college student affairs from 29 different states sorted 39 statements describing mentoring relationships on a continuum from “least like my mentoring relationship” (-4) to “most like my mentoring relationship” (+4). These 55 sorts were factor analyzed and rotated. Following these procedures, four factors emerged that represented different perspectives on mentoring relationships in college student affairs. Interpretation of these factors yielded distinct themes within them. These factors were named: (a) Mentor as Ideal, (b) Mentor as Cheerleader, (c) Mentor as Friend, and (d) Mentor as Teacher.

The results of the study, which intended to elicit the subjectivity of new college student affairs professionals regarding their mentoring relationships, suggest that college student affairs professionals value, in different ways, the interaction with their mentor. The results from this study suggest the personal interaction between a protégé and a mentor is a valuable part of a protégé's career. Additionally, the results from this study seem to indicate that mentoring relationships in college student affairs are, on balance, positive. The results also suggest that mentoring relationships in college student affairs are highly developmental. The perspectives described and the interpretation provided in this study can greatly assist student affairs professionals in the development of new professionals.

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Education Commons