Our Mentors

Our Mentors

Our Mentoring Process

 

Your mentor is your teacher, promoter, advisor, role model, and encourager. His or her mission is to help you become a doctoral-prepared skilled, and confident practitioner-researcher. Together you plan your dissertation and set goals for its completion, and talk over career goals after you graduate.

 

Dissertation completion is a self-paced process that highly depends on your time management skills and proactive communications with your mentor. Visualize a scaffolding built of knowledge and skill. At first, your mentor builds the structure for you using his or her knowledge, management, guidance, and feedback. As you proceed, you take over the construction using your time management skills and communication. You complete the process by advancing our collective body of knowledge through the completed dissertation. The torch is passed from mentor to mentee.

 

As the path of thousands before you, dissertations are an uphill climb. However, the view from the top is magnificent.

We will personally match you with a mentor who has expert knowledge in the dissertation process. Our mentors are not only your teachers, they are your advocates, advisors, and cheerleaders! Together you will plan your dissertation, set goals for its completion, and talk over your career goals for after you graduate. 

 

Your mentor will build a structure with you using his or her knowledge, management, guidance, and feedback. As you proceed through our program, you will take over the construction using your time management and communication skills to move forward. 

 
 
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About Our Mentors

 

Mentors are the heart of the Doctoral Achievement Program and are integral to the process. Our mentors are distinguished and experienced in multiple research methodologies, designs, and subjects. They bring a history of mentoring, averaging over 20 years per person or more.

 

Their experience and expertise cover all methodologies and designs, although as you would expect, some favor quantitatively focused studies, while others focus on qualitative studies. We will have a curriculum vitae (CV) for each mentor. Together with the program director, you will review available mentors. With the program director, you will select the mentor that best suits you. If you have a mentor you are comfortable with and wish to recommend them, please discuss this with the program director.

About the Committee

 

Our committees are structured with three members, the mentor, and two committee members. Your dealings with the committee will be primarily through the mentor. The committee members will only engage when they review and approve your proposal at the end of course three (methodology), and the final review and defense of the dissertation. The committee members are equally highly qualified and experienced, with comparable credentials as the mentors. Some mentors may also serve as committee members on dissertations.

 

 

What to Expect From a Mentor

 

A Mentor:

 

  • Has cognitive expert knowledge and the ability to share that knowledge with you. He or she can walk you through each step of the dissertation process. He or she knows what resources you need and is creative and resourceful for come-what-may ahead. 

  • Connects with you both personally and as an academic colleague. Has respect for the intensity of this dissertation process. Offers personalized suggestions to enhance your current knowledge and skills. Regularly directs you to the literature and other resources to develop your academic strengths.

  • Offers a safe yet challenging space. Shows empathetic listening skills to understand your concerns and worries, then sets mutual goals to move you ahead. Walks beside you through the tough spots.

  • Offers open and free dialog, including words of detailed feedback and critique for improvement and reinforcement of your progress. Offers timely feedback for your written submissions and questions.

  • Encourages you to practice applied critical thinking and independent decisions. Allows you get your feet wet but keeps you from drowning. Points out your strengths and progress as the antidote to vulnerability and fatigue.

 
 

What the Mentor Expects from You

A Student:

  • Takes stewardship of their professional role. You’re an independent professional in charge of your own pace and mastery.

  • Comes to work regularly and often. You set goals and keep them. You actively use time management skills and practice clear communication, both synchronous and asynchronous.

  • Takes the initiative to reach out. Even if you’re disappointed with your week’s progress, contact your mentor.

  • Listens to their mentor. Even if you think they’re incorrect, hear them out with an open mind.

  • Debates from a position of strength. In all good mentor/student relationships, there will be debates. If you disagree with a suggestion or feedback, read and cite the relevant literature to give your arguments rigor, then debate the best solutions with your mentor.

  • Sets and follows high ethical standards in citing, writing, and conducting research.

  • Makes autonomous decisions when ready. When you make autonomous decisions, choose wisely and keep your mentor in the loop. Be open to feedback. Prepare for your decisions and defend them from the literature.

 

Together Through Thick & Thin

In a perfect world, all mentor/student relationships would be strong and productive. Indeed, most mentors and students work well together and establish lasting friendships.

 

Yet challenges can arise in the best of learning situations. Occasionally things don't go as planned. (This may have been your situation in your previous program.) We take a proactive approach to maintaining strong mentor/student relationships. We strive to stay aware of possible challenges and work together as a team to find solutions.  

Challenges You Might Create for Your Mentor:

  • You seem to have Incompatible personalities. Sometimes you just don’t click.

  • You are having difficulty transitioning from structured coursework to self-paced independent dissertation work.

  • You do not have a clear understanding of the steps of the dissertation process. 

  • You are not asking enough questions.  

  • You are not committing the time and resources you need to learn at the doctoral level.

  • Ineffective communication is frustrating to both of you.

  • You are frequently unavailable or hard to reach.

Challenges Your Mentor Might Create for You:

 

  • Again, incompatible personalities. Sometimes you just don’t click.

  • Your mentor does not clarify what he or she expects of you week to week. 

  • Your mentor has limited knowledge of a method or topic and needs to catch up.

  • Your mentor prefers a coaching approach that you don't like.

  • Your mentor is not providing you with opportunities to develop your independence and critical thinking skills.

  • Ineffective communication is frustrating both of you.

  • Your mentor is unavailable or hard to reach.

Regardless of the challenges mentors and students use authentic leadership skills and a shared vision to push forward. We work together!