American Journal of Educational Research. 2014, 2(9), 703-708DOI:
Abstract: With increasing numbers of doctoral programs, and a persistent high attrition rate, the need to provide support to PhD students grows. Faculty mentoring is one strategy employed by many doctoral programs to address attrition, although objectives, methods and responsibilities of the mentor role vary. The purpose of this integrative literature review was to synthesize outcomes and characteristics of faculty/student mentorship in PhD programs. This integrative review included studies from 2003-April 2014 in peer-reviewed journals, found from a comprehensive search of PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane, PsycInfo, and GoogleScholar. Key search terms included: mentor, faculty, student, advisor, doctoral, education, engagement, attrition, retention, and PhD. The search strategy yielded a total of 850 references; 47 were retrieved, read and rated for relevance and research quality. A set of 12 articles met relevance criteria. Results indicate that although successful faculty mentoring is time consuming, students benefit from decreases in social isolation, and increased progression and retention through doctoral programs.