Mentoring Doctoral Students

Mentorship is widely recognized as an effective means for guiding graduate students to achieve academic success (Katz et al., 2019). Research on mentorship has identified numerous benefits to students and programs, e.g., improved retention, stronger research skills, and greater productivity (Pfund et al., 2014). Role modeling and mentorship can also help students develop effective teaching skills (Fong, 2012; Oktay et al., 2013) and navigate transitions into academia and other jobs (Adorno et al., 2015; Mor Barak & Brekke, 2014). A recent study on mentorship by Lee (2022) et al. found that students want mentoring support across academic and non-academic domains, including with issues related to diversity and inclusion and program climate. Most important to students was having mentors be available and responsive and to help them understand the culture and expectations of academia.
Academic advising is an important component of mentorship, although the roles can be separate. The importance of academic advising for student success is well documented in the education literature, and CSWE accreditation standards cite it as essential. Young et al. (2019) found advising to be an important factor for student success in PhD programs. In the study by Lee et al. (2022), social work doctoral students reported the highest level of satisfaction with their academic mentoring, and both students and faculty indicated that about two-thirds of the stress experienced during doctoral education is related to academic aspects of the program.
Adapted from the 2023 Quality Guidelines for PhD Programs in Social Work.

GADE Conference & Workshop Mentoring Resources

GADE-related Mentoring Publications

Additional Mentoring Resources