Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Thesis

School

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The mentorship experience in higher education may be viewed as a holistic support system for many students who report not receiving adequate academic and social support during their enrollment in a higher education institution, which could positively impact their abilities to succeed in college (Astin, 1984; Hurtado & Carter, 1997; Nora, 1987; Nora & Crisp, 2007; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine student-teacher mentorships in higher education and its influence on educational outcomes using undergraduate and graduate students at Rhode Island College. In this study, I hypothesized that students who identify as having a mentor will report more positive school engagement and membership in their learning experience than students who do not have a mentor (Hypothesis 1). I also hypothesized that other variables will impact positive school engagement and membership for students who do not identify as having a mentor (Hypothesis 2). A sample of participants (N = 262) recruited for this study completed a self-report demographic questionnaire, the College Student Mentoring Scale, the College Student Experience Questionnaire, the Psychological Sense of School Membership, and the Belief in the Utility of Education. The measures assessed students’ perception of their college experience, faculty mentorship, school engagement, and school membership. Results indicated that formal mentorship did lead to better academic performance, attendance, and students’ satisfaction at the institution. Graduate students overall reported lower student engagement and school membership than their undergraduate counterparts. The current study is one of the first to examine the impact faculty mentorships have on both undergraduate and graduate students while assessing the same constructs in one study and considering factors such as student engagement and school membership.

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