Higher Learning Research Communications

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Objectives: In preparation for creating a peer-mentoring program for education doctorate (EdD) students, we conducted a literature review to learn about the characteristics of peer-mentoring programs for graduate students and EdD students specifically. Method: Our search criteria included articles about peer mentoring for graduate students only; published in peer-reviewed journals since the year 2000; and about programs that involved more experienced students, students farther along in the program, or recent graduates. These criteria resulted in 15 articles. Results: We applied what we learned about program design and characteristics in the creation of a voluntary peer-mentoring program for first year students, including purposeful selection and assignment of mentors and mentees along with stated expectations for the type and frequency of mentor/mentee conversations. Conclusions: More research is needed that addresses a consistent definition of peer mentoring, methodological concerns about research, challenges of these programs, and how certain aspects of peer-mentoring programs relate to program completion rates. Implications for Theory and/or Practice: Continued investigation into the benefits and challenges of mentoring programs will inform our service to students. Investigation into multiple programs and peer mentoring in the later stages of the doctoral journey will strengthen the extant literature about peer mentoring for doctoral students.