Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James Crosby


Research shows that relationship-based advising has a track record of producing better student outcomes and retention, thus local college administrators chose relationship-based advising as the advising model to be used at the campus. The problem addressed in this study was inconsistent implementation of the relationship-based advising model by the advisors at the local community college. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to investigate how advisors were implementing the relationship-based advising method when advising students. Guided by Vygotsky’s social interaction theory, the perspectives and experiences of advisors were explored regarding how relationship-based advising was implemented at the college. Ten advisors were interviewed about their knowledge and experience with relationship-based advising. Interview data were analyzed using inductive, open coding to identify emergent patterns and themes. Results indicated the advisors were using many elements of relationship-based advising but to varying degrees. Advisors identified inherent strengths and challenges in relationship-based advising, yet they reported that students who received relationship-based advising were more likely to stay connected to the college until their educational goals were met. Findings suggested that more focused efforts to consistently implement relationship-based advising were warranted. With the consistent implementation of relationship-based advising, community college students may be more connected with the school community and persistent in pursuing their educational goals, thereby producing positive social change for individuals and the greater community over time.