Mentoring in Online Doctoral Education

Alice A. Walters, Walden University
William Barkley, Walden University


Online higher education is a growing source of educational attainment for both traditional and nontraditional students. This research integrates rapid expansion of online learning with mentoring practices in graduate education aimed to increase student success rates. Presented are results from a qualitative case study analyzing one quarter of pilot data from an online doctoral mentoring forum. Major themes of student discussion included program processes, relational interactions, and professional development. Study findings increase understanding perceived needs of human services doctoral students. Implications of the research lead to increasing effectiveness of graduate mentoring and improved student success rates in online education.