Date of Award

Winter 12-14-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Patty LeBlanc, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Thomas Gollery, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Mark Bryant, Ed.D.


The purpose of this non-experimental study was to examine doctoral graduates’ satisfaction with the mentoring provided by their dissertation chairs. The relationships between doctoral students and their dissertation chairs can positively or negatively influence a doctoral student’s dissertation journey. The researcher developed and validated a survey to determine doctoral graduates’ perceptions of mentoring by their dissertation chairs based on best practices in the literature. The online survey was announced nationwide using email and social media: 133 graduates from multiple disciplines and institutions responded with complete data. The responses were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the analyses revealed that this sample of graduates viewed their chair’s mentoring as helpful or very helpful during the different phases of the dissertation process (M = 2.92 on a 4-point Likert scale). The graduates also agreed or strongly agreed that their chairs used best practices of mentoring doctoral graduates (M = 4.12 on a 5-point Likert scale). Analyses of open-ended survey items reiterated the importance of the relationships between doctoral students and their chairs to promote successful completion of the dissertation. Graduates valued mutual trust, encouragement, goal setting, shared research interests, and timely feedback. Implications of the study and recommendations for future research were discussed.

Keywords: dissertation chair, doctoral student, doctoral program completion, mentee, mentor, mentoring, more knowledgeable other (MKO), online mentoring