Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
The focus of this study was the advising style preference of graduate-level students and advisors in online and hybrid programs at a university in rural Arkansas. Students and advisors will benefit from the results because the advisors will have a greater understanding of expectations during an advising session. The problem stems from the fact that graduate level advising is not considered important by administrators at the study institution. The purpose of this study was to determine how graduate level advisors can better serve students and to use the results as a tool for advisor training. The study was guided by Crookston's developmental advising style, in which the advisor and student work together to ensure student success. The key research questions for the study were the preferred advising style of graduate-level students in online and hybrid programs and the advising style preferred by graduate-level advisors. A mixed method with an explanatory sequential design was used, and the Academic Advising Inventory was administered to the population of graduate students and their advisors using a web-based survey. After completing each section of the inventory, respondents had an opportunity for open responses to clarify their selections. Student responses to the inventory indicated their preferred advising style, the advising style they had received, and their satisfaction with the advising they had received. Advisor responses detailed the form of advising they practice. Data were collected from students (n = 224) and advisors (n = 9). Responses were analyzed by following the Academic Advising Inventory Manual and using SPSS for calculations. The responses were recoded to separate the prescriptive and developmental responses. Next, the items were calculated to determine if each respondent was advised prescriptively or developmentally. Finally, the advising satisfaction level for students was calculated to determine student satisfaction with each form of advising received. The results indicate that graduate-level students in both online and hybrid programs prefer developmental advising over prescriptive advising. Students enrolled in hybrid programs indicated greater satisfaction with the advising they received than students enrolled in online programs. Overall students who received developmental advising reported higher satisfaction rates than those who received prescriptive advising. Results of this study will serve as the basis for graduate advisor training and the creation of a training manual.