Mentoring: Wisconsin Catholic college faculty perceptions and practices

Jill Therese Prushiek, Marquette University


This study investigated the perceptions and practices of selected faculty employed in Wisconsin Catholic colleges regarding faculty mentoring. This study was designed to ascertain how faculty defined mentoring, and if purposes for mentoring were common among them. Furthermore, it investigated the style of mentoring preferred by faculty, their apprehensions about participating in a mentoring relationship, and whether specific demographic characteristics affected their perceptions and practices of faculty mentoring. Finally, recommendations for establishing a mentoring program or refining an existing program on a college campus were made. Ninety-seven full-time faculty participated in the study. The survey was developed by the investigator and pilot tested on a population similar to the one used in this study. Also, 15 randomly selected faculty who returned their survey participated in a telephone interview. Data were collected over a two month period. Names of full-time faculty were provided by the deans of participating colleges. Surveys were sent to 20% of the total number of faculty. The SPSS-X program was used for data analysis. Frequencies and percentages for each closed question on the survey were calculated. Responses to the three open-ended questions of the survey and telephone interview were analyzed through a form of content analysis. Faculty defined mentoring in eight different ways with the largest group defining it as assisting new faculty with their role and responsibilities at the college. Also, purposes for mentoring were commonly understood among faculty. Furthermore, faculty preferred a style of mentoring that involved a sharing of enthusiasm, understanding, and philosophy of teaching between the mentor and protege. Lack of time, a mismatch between mentor and protege and assignment of mentor and protege by the institution were perceived as apprehensions by the faculty for participating in mentoring. Finally, demographic characteristics of gender and age affected how faculty defined mentoring. An overall conclusion is that college faculty define mentoring in a variety of ways. Also, most faculty have mentored someone and have been mentored as well. A recommendation for future study would be to replicate the study comparing the perceptions of faculty employed in Catholic colleges and public colleges.

Recommended Citation

Prushiek, Jill Therese, "Mentoring: Wisconsin Catholic college faculty perceptions and practices" (1996). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9634277.