Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 185–199 | Cite as

“Take the Fifth”: Mentoring Students Whose Cultural Communities Were Not Historically Structured Into U.S. Higher Education

  • Jualynne E. Dodson
  • Beronda L. Montgomery
  • Lesley J. Brown


This article presents a description of the African Atlantic Research Team as exemplary of ten years of successful mentoring of undergraduate and graduate university students who are focused on a Ph.D in disciplines traditionally associated with academic research and teaching. The team is distinctive because it is multi-disciplinary in composition, the majority of its members are from communities historically excluded from structures of U.S. higher education, and its activities focus on members working collaboratively and collectively through most areas of their academic learning and socialization. Though the numbers of this case study are small, 95% of team members successfully completed their bachelor’s degree with majors that facilitate their application for graduate study in disciplines linked to academic research, writing, and university instruction. These undergraduate majors differ from those focusing upon social problems or applied or professional majors. Eighty percent of the team members applied for graduate study, and only one did not attend graduate school.

Key words

academic socialization diversity graduate education mentoring multiculturalism undergraduate education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jualynne E. Dodson
    • 1
  • Beronda L. Montgomery
    • 1
  • Lesley J. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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