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Mentoring Minority Students in Higher Education

  • Date Submitted: 12/11/2011 05:15 PM
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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0261-0159.htm

EOI 26,3


Mentoring minority graduate students: issues and strategies for institutions, faculty, and students
Kecia M. Thomas
Department of Psychology and The Institute for African American Studies, University of Georgia, Georgia, USA

Leigh A. Willis
Department of Sociology and The Institute for African American Studies, University of Georgia, Georgia, USA, and

Jimmy Davis
The Home Depot Corporation, Georgia, USA
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine mentoring relationships involving minority graduate students in the USA. Design/methodology/approach – The authors take a multifaceted approach to providing strategies to improve the opportunities of minority students to acquire mentors by directing attention to institutional practices, faculty development, and the behaviors of students themselves. Findings – Mentoring relationships provide critical personal and professional development opportunities throughout one’s career. These relationships are especially important for racial minorities who often lack access to informal networks and information that is required to be successful in academic and professional environments in which they are under-represented. The lack of mentors for minority graduate students is important to consider given the potential impact of this experience for minority graduate students’ retention and subsequent success, but also for the future diversity of the discipline (especially its instruction and research). This article identifies the challenges that minority graduate students confront in establishing healthy mentoring relationships, and the unfortunate outcomes of when minority graduate students lack productive mentoring relationships. Originality/value – The paper provides a multilevel analysis of mentoring of minority graduate students. Keywords Mentoring, Ethnic minorities,...


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