I Graduated. . . . Now What?: Mentors Matter

I Graduated. . . . Now What?: Mentors Matter

Karis LeToi Clarke
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5065-6.ch001
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This chapter is a reflection upon the author's journey from completing a professional degree program until present day. It is the intent of the author to share lived experiences of a professional who has completed the doctoral degree with emerging completers, and those new to the profession. Having a relationship with multiple mentors can significantly enhance development in early adulthood and in the mid-career stage of the more experienced person. Existing research tends to focus on how mentoring can influence graduate student attrition rates. However, there is little evidence that researchers have approached the issue of navigating career placement after the doctoral degree. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of how new doctoral completers can be supported in post-doctoral career placement.
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Mentorship In Doctoral Education

Issues, Controversies, and Problems

This chapter shares the lived experience of a professional (the author) who has completed the doctoral degree with emerging completers and those new to the profession. Increased support of EdD students is needed for more post-doctoral completers to successfully navigate a career after graduation. EdD completers need programs that consist of students who proceed through the program together, forming supportive, familial, emotional bonds with program faculty (Bista & Cox, 2014). Unfortunately, much research on mentoring stems from higher education programs for undergraduate students. Mentoring as a means of career development is essential to a person who is new to the profession. For example, Kram (1983) found peer relationships offer alternatives to traditional formal mentoring models by “providing a range of developmental supports for personal and professional growth at each career stage” (p. 116). Due to the time constraints of the EdD program, non-traditional methods of mentoring must suffice to assist program completers in navigating their career path.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Relational Aggression (RA): A type of aggression in which harm is caused by damaging someone’s relationships or social status.

Developmental Interaction: Individuals learn best when they are actively engaged with people. Growth requires diverse opportunities for ongoing social development.

Post-Doctoral: Research undertaken after the completion a of doctoral degree.

Emotional Support: Showing empathy, compassion, and genuine concern for others.

Mentoring: A reciprocal relationship that occurs between a senior and junior employee for the purpose of the mentee’s growth and career development.

Mentor Relationship: A learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.

Mentee: Someone advised by a mentor.

Mentor: An experienced advisor.

Education Doctorate (EdD): A professional degree designed for practitioners pursuing educational leadership roles.

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