Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

William Flora

Committee Members

Hal Knight, Virginia Foley, Renee Moran


Perceptions of Faculty-Student Informal Mentoring Relationship

This qualitative study examined the informal mentoring relationships between faculty and students at two small, faith-based, liberal arts campuses. Perceptions of both faculty and students’ views of informal mentoring were studied. The research questions further explored the factors that encouraged or discouraged faculty-student informal mentoring as well as the role of on-campus faculty housing. Student participants were selected after completing an online survey regarding their perception of connection with professors at the campus location. Faculty participants were selected after completing an online survey regarding their perception of how much time they spent with students outside the classroom. From these responses, nine students and nine faculty members were selected and agreed to participate in semi-structured interviews. Recognizing the power of story to communicate rich biographical moments, a narrative inquiry approach to data collection and data analysis was utilized and triangulated with observation, field notes, and historical document review. Interviews were analyzed using three cycles of coding that generated the resulting themes. Eight themes were identified from the data and include intentionality towards care and concern, the importance of relationship building, investment of time, size of campus, spaces that contribute to informal mentoring, the role of on-campus faculty housing, blurred lines, and hindrances to connection. Additionally, the experience of faith-based student development, student-faculty relationships on faith-based campuses, the notion of vocational calling, and impacts on informal mentoring are explored.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.