Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural Education and Studies
Robert A. Martin
Research on mentoring in educational settings has traditionally focused on faculty and graduate student mentoring, while it has been somewhat less prevalent at the undergraduate level. Literature indicates that while undergraduate academic achievement and career development are undoubtedly influenced by a variety of factors, mentoring is a significant variable. However, faculty and administrators alike are often uncertain about how to foster effective mentoring relationships with undergraduate students. The few undergraduate research studies on mentoring that have been conducted have focused primarily on the protege's perceptions about their mentor or mentoring relationship. The lack of research regarding faculty perceptions of mentoring continues to leave faculty mentors uneducated about how to foster valuable mentoring experiences with undergraduate students.;The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of the faculty in the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University regarding the undergraduate mentoring process. The accessible population consisted of 378 faculty members. Findings were based on data, obtained through a web-based survey, from 200 (52.9%) faculty members. Non-response error was controlled, and the findings may be generalizable across the population.;The results of this study, coupled with the literature on mentoring, indicated that the faculty members in the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University were somewhat unfamiliar with the mentoring process. Though respondents appeared to be appropriately practicing the six mentoring functions presented in the Brzoska, Jones, Mahaffy, Miller, and Mychals (1987) Mentor Function Model, there was evidence that the respondents may have been confusing the roles of an academic advisor and teacher with a mentor, resulting in them being unaware of proper mentoring conduct. Further, the definitions provided by the respondents in this study continued to support a major finding of past mentoring studies: there appears to be no single, precise definition of mentoring.;Ultimately, the results of this study brought greater awareness of the mentoring functions and descriptors of undergraduate mentoring to college and university faculty. College and university departments can benefit from addressing the findings and the recommendations of this study in the development and delivery of undergraduate mentor training workshops or faculty seminars. Proper training may improve the mentoring provided to undergraduate students, thus increasing the potential for greater academic achievement and career development.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
Ashley Joelle Wolfe
Wolfe, Ashley Joelle, "Faculty perceptions of the undergraduate mentoring process in the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University " (2006). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 1377.