Skip to main content

Transformative Mentoring Relationships: Engaging Student Voices to Create Emancipatory Change in Curriculum

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Emancipatory Change in US Higher Education

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on many graduate students across higher education institutions. Faculty and students experienced significant disruptions in their instruction, mentoring relationships, and other activities as they rapidly transitioned to an online platform (Levine et al., Voices from the Field: The Impact of COVID-19 on Early Career Scholars and Doctoral Students, American Educational Research Association (AERA), 2021). More worrisome, the pandemic exacerbated existing challenges for Black and Latina/o/x students. Many students of color have withdrawn from their graduate programs due to the added strain, stress, and disproportionate impact of the pandemic on Communities of Color. A primary concern for universities is the low persistence and degree completion of students of color (Gardner, New Directions for Higher Education, 2013, 43–54, 2013). The vast disparities in graduate degree completion contribute to low faculty representation across institutions (Kamimura-Jimenez, & Gonzalez, Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 17, 148–168, 2018). A factor in the low persistence and degree completion rates for students of color is the quality of mentoring relationships that help students navigate their academic journey. This chapter explores the unique challenges facing students of color encounter and the ways graduate departments can implement and refine support systems to meet student needs. The chapter offers several recommendations for graduate programs, departments, and faculty to implement specific interventions to support students of color through improving mentoring relationships.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

References

  • Acevedo-Gil, N., & Madrigal-Garcia, Y. (2018). Mentoring among Latina/o scholars: Enacting spiritual activism to navigate academia. American Journal of Education, 124(3), 313–344.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alcantar, C. M., & Hernandez, E. (2020). “Here the professors are your guide, tus guías”: Latina/o student validating experiences with faculty at a Hispanic-serving community college. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 19(1), 3–18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bagaka’s, J. G., Badillo, N., Bransteter, I., & Rispinto, S. (2015). Exploring student success in a doctoral program: The power of mentorship and research engagement. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 10(1), 323–342.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baker, V. L., & Griffin, K. A. (2010). Beyond mentoring and advising: Toward understanding the role of faculty “developers” in student success. About Campus, 14(6), 2–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bonilla, J., Pickron, C., & Tatum, T. (1994). Peer mentoring among graduate students of color: Expanding the mentoring relationship. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 1994(57), 101–113.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bragg, D. D. (2001). Community college access, mission, and outcomes: Considering intriguing intersections and challenges. Peabody Journal of Education, 76(1), 93–116.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brown, M. C., II, Davis, G. L., & McClendon, S. A. (1999). Mentoring graduate students of color: Myths, models, and modes. Peabody Journal of Education, 74(2), 105–118.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bruce, A., Beuthin, R., Sheilds, L., Molzahn, A., & Schick-Makaroff, K. (2016). Narrative research evolving: Evolving through narrative research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 15(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406916659292

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brunsma, D. L., Embrick, D. G., & Shin, J. H. (2017). Graduate students of color: Race, racism, and mentoring in the white waters of academia. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 3(1), 1–13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cadenas, G. A., Liu, L., Li, K. M., & Beachy, S. (2021). Promoting critical consciousness, academic performance, and persistence among graduate students experiencing class-based oppression. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

    Google Scholar 

  • Calarco, J. M. (2020). A field guide to grad school: Uncovering the hidden curriculum. Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Christe, B. L. (2013). The importance of faculty-student connections in STEM disciplines. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, 14(3), 22–26.

    Google Scholar 

  • Creswell, J. W., & Miller, D. L. (2000). Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124–130.

    Google Scholar 

  • DeAngelo, L., Schuster, M. T., & Lachaud, Q. A. (2021). The faculty role in grooming and gatekeeping Students’ of color potential along the professoriate pipeline. The Review of Higher Education, 44(4), 493–521.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dodson, J. E., Montgomery, B. L., & Brown, L. J. (2009). “Take the fifth”: Mentoring students whose cultural communities were not historically structured into US higher education. Innovative Higher Education, 34(3), 185–199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Espino, M. M. (2014). Exploring the role of community cultural wealth in graduate school access and persistence for Mexican American PhDs. American Journal of Education, 120(4), 545–574.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Felder, P. (2010). On doctoral student development: Exploring faculty mentoring in the shaping of African American doctoral student success. Qualitative Report, 15(2), 455–474.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gardner, S. K. (2008). Fitting the mold of graduate school: A qualitative study of socialization in doctoral education. Innovative Higher Education, 33(2), 125–138.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gardner, S. K. (2010). Contrasting the socialization experiences of doctoral students in high-and low-completing departments: A qualitative analysis of disciplinary contexts at one institution. The Journal of Higher Education, 81(1), 61–81.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gardner, S. K. (2013). The challenges of first-generation doctoral students. New Directions for Higher Education, 2013(163), 43–54.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gay, G. (2004). Navigating marginality en route to the professoriate: Graduate students of color learning and living in academia. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 17(2), 265–288.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gildersleeve, R. E., Croom, N. N., & Vasquez, P. L. (2011). “Am I going crazy?!”: A critical race analysis of doctoral education. Equity & Excellence in Education, 44(1), 93–114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gloria, A. M., Castellanos, J., Lopez, A. G., & Rosales, R. (2005). An examination of academic nonpersistence decisions of Latino undergraduates. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 27(2), 202–223.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • González, J. C. (2007). Surviving the doctorate and thriving as faculty: Latina junior faculty reflecting on their doctoral studies experiences. Equity & Excellence in Education, 40(4), 291–300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Griffin, K. A. (2012). Learning to mentor: A mixed methods study of the nature and influence of Black professors’ socialization into their roles as mentors. Journal of the Professoriate, 6(2), 27–58.

    Google Scholar 

  • Griffin, K. A., Perez, D., Holmes, A. P., & Mayo, C. E. (2010). Investing in the future: The importance of faculty mentoring in the development of students of color in STEM. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2010(148), 95–103.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hackmann, D. G., & Malin, J. R. (2019). Mentoring for the educational leadership professoriate: Perspectives from jay D. Scribner mentoring award recipients and mentees. Journal of research on leadership. Education, 14(3), 236–260.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hagedorn, R. L., Wattick, R. A., & Olfert, M. D. (2021). “My entire world stopped”: College students’ psychosocial and academic frustrations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1–22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hayes, E. F. (2005). Approaches to mentoring: How to mentor and be mentored. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 17(11), 442–445. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2018/demo/education-attainment/cps-detailed-tables.html

  • Holloway-Friesen, H. (2021). The role of mentoring on Hispanic graduate students’ sense of belonging and academic self-efficacy. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 20(1), 46–58.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Huerta, A., & Fishman, S. (2014). Marginality and mattering: Urban Latino male undergraduates in higher education. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 26(1), 85–100.

    Google Scholar 

  • Huerta, A. H., & Fishman, S. M. (2019). Marginalizing what matters: Revisiting Latino male students in the educational pipeline. In Marginality in the Urban Center (pp. 133–157). Palgrave Macmillan.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Huerta, A. H. (2022). Exploring Undergraduate Students’ Emotional Vulnerability in Men of Color Programs. Journal of College Student Development, 63(1), 51–68.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jehangir, R. R. (2009). Cultivating voice: First-generation students seek full academic citizenship in multicultural learning communities. Innovative Higher Education, 34(1), 33–49.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kamimura-Jimenez, M., & Gonzalez, J. (2018). Understanding PhD Latinx career outcomes: A case study. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 17(2), 148–168.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lambie, G. W., Hayes, B. G., Griffith, C., Limberg, D., & Mullen, P. R. (2014). An exploratory investigation of the research self-efficacy, interest in research, and research knowledge of Ph.D. in education students. Innovative Higher Education, 39(2), 139–153.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lechuga, V. M. (2011). Faculty-graduate student mentoring relationships: Mentors’ perceived roles and responsibilities. Higher Education, 62(6), 757–771.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levine, F. J., Nasir, N. I. S., Ríos-Aguilar, C., Gildersleeve, R. E., Rosich, K. J., Bang, M., Bell, N. E., & Holsapple, M. A. (2021). Voices from the field: The impact of COVID-19 on early career scholars and doctoral students. American Educational Research Association (AERA).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Lopez, E. F. (2021). 6 ways faculty can support grad students. Inside Higher Ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2021/04/15/why-and-how-faculty-should-support-grad-students-mitigate-pandemics-impact-opinion

  • Lunsford, L. G., Baker, V., Griffin, K. A., & Johnson, W. B. (2013). Mentoring: A typology of costs for higher education faculty. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 21(2), 126–149.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McCoy, D. L., Winkle-Wagner, R., & Luedke, C. L. (2015). Colorblind mentoring? Exploring white faculty mentoring of students of color. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 8(4), 225–242.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Designing your study and selecting a sample. Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation, 67(1), 73–104.

    Google Scholar 

  • National Center for Education Statistics. (2020). Race/ethnicity of college faculty: Full-time faculty in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity, sex, and academic rank: Fall 2015, fall 2017, and fall 2018. https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d19/tables/dt19_315.20.asp

  • Noonan, M. J., Ballinger, R., & Black, R. (2007). Peer and faculty mentoring in doctoral education: Definitions, experiences, and expectations. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 19(3), 251–262.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pérez Huber, L., Malagón, M. C., Ramirez, B. R., Gonzalez, L. C., Jimenez, A., & Vélez, V. N. (2015). Still Falling through the Cracks: Revisiting the Latina/o Education Pipeline. CSRC Research Report. Number 19. UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perez, R. J., Harris, L. W., Jr., Robbins, C. K., & Montgomery, C. (2019). Graduate students’ agency and resistance after oppressive experiences. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, 57–71.

    Google Scholar 

  • Posselt, J., Hernandez, T. E., Villarreal, C. D., Rodgers, A. J., & Irwin, L. N. (2020). Evaluation and decision making in higher education: Toward equitable repertoires of faculty practice. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, 35, 1–63.

    Google Scholar 

  • Quezada, R. L., & Louque, A. (2004). The absence of diversity in the academy: Faculty of color in educational administration programs. Education, 125(2).

    Google Scholar 

  • Ramirez, E. (2017). Unequal socialization: Interrogating the Chicano/Latino(a) doctoral education experience. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 10(1), 25–38. https://doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000028

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Reimers, F. M. (2022). Learning from a pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 on education around the world. In Primary and Secondary Education During COVID-19 (pp. 1–37). Springer.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Rendon, L. I. (1994). Validating culturally diverse students: Toward a new model of learning and student development. Innovative Higher Education, 19(1), 33–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rosenthal, L., Lee, S., Jenkins, P., Arbet, J., Carrington, S., Hoon, S., Purcell, S. K., & Nodine, P. (2021). A survey of mental health in graduate nursing students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurse Educator, 46(4), 215–220.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Santos, S. J., & Reigadas, E. T. (2002). Latinos in higher education: An evaluation of a university faculty mentoring program. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 1(1), 40–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Slay, K. E., Reyes, K. A., & Posselt, J. R. (2019). Bait and switch: Representation, climate, and tensions of diversity work in graduate education. The Review of Higher Education, 42(5), 255–286.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, W. A., Mustaffa, J. B., Jones, C. M., Curry, T. J., & Allen, W. R. (2016). “You make me wanna holler and throw up both my hands!”: Campus culture, Black misandric microaggressions, and racial battle fatigue. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 29(9), 1189–1209.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Solórzano, D. G. (1993). The road to the doctorate for California’s Chicanas and Chicanos: A study of Ford Foundation Minority Fellows. California Policy Seminar.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, K. M., Willis, L. A., & Davis, J. (2007). Mentoring minority graduate students: Issues and strategies for institutions, faculty, and students. Equal Opportunities International, 26(3), 178–192.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • United States Census Bureau. (2017). Educational attainment in the United States: 2017. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2017/demo/education-attainment/cps-detailed-tables.html

  • United States Census Bureau. (2018). Educational attainment in the United States: 2018. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2018/demo/education-attainment/cps-detailed-tables.html

  • United States Census Bureau. (2019). Educational attainment in the United States: 2019. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/educational-attainment/cps-detailed-tables.html

  • Williams, M. S., Brown Burnett, T. J., Carroll, T. K., & Harris, C. J. (2018). Mentoring, managing, and helping: A critical race analysis of socialization in doctoral education. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 20(2), 253–278.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wright-Harp, W., & Cole, P. A. (2008). A mentoring model for enhancing success in graduate education. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 35, 4–16.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhou, E., & Gao, J. (2021). Graduate enrollment and degrees: 2010 to 2020. Council of Graduate Schools.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Edgar F. Lopez .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Lopez, E.F., Huerta, A.H. (2023). Transformative Mentoring Relationships: Engaging Student Voices to Create Emancipatory Change in Curriculum. In: Roth, K.R., Kumah-Abiwu, F., Ritter, Z.S. (eds) Emancipatory Change in US Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-11124-2_6

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-11124-2_6

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-11123-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-11124-2

  • eBook Packages: EducationEducation (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics