Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision

Document Type



Doctoral Students, research, mentoring, researcher identity development

Subject Area

Counselor Education


The development of a community environment and strong mentoring relationships is integral in helping doctoral students complete their degrees. Of the stages comprising a student’s academic career, effective conceptualization and writing of the dissertation proves the most challenging and may result in failure to complete a doctoral degree. The researchers developed and used their Research Mentoring Model (RMM) to help doctoral students identify research topics, move into a researcher identity, and develop a sense community. This hermeneutic phenomenological sought to understand the experience of the five first year doctoral students participants. All were enrolled in a CACREP accredited Counselor Education and Supervision program of a western university. Each student was the Focus Person during participated in a structured, 90-minute mentoring to explore the possible directions of dissertation research. The sessions were attended by faculty and advanced doctoral students who provide feedback and discuss possible research. The five first year students were then interviewed about their experiences with the RMM. The themes that emerged from the individual interviews included: experiencing a sense of community, developing a researcher identity, increasing confidence, self-efficacy and motivation, as well as finding support from peers and faculty. The Article concludes with limitations, reflections and directions for future research.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.