Mentoring and minority student development

Lisa D Waid, Florida International University


Positive student development is a complex and multidimensional process, and is therefore best understood through interdisciplinary approaches. Recently, researchers studying the optimization of student development have responded to the challenge by using and integrating concepts from both educational and human developmental theories (King & Magdola, 1999). This theoretical confluence holds significant promise for ethnic minority college students due to the particular challenges these students often encounter. This research assesses individuals involved in an undergraduate educational and professional development mentoring intervention designed to optimize student development for ethnic minority students. First, in order to explore how development is fostered for minority college students, three objectives were pursued. The first objective was to assess the goals that students set for themselves and the degree of personal expressiveness they have in relation to their chosen goals. The second objective was to identify the types of challenges and obstacles that minority students perceive during their college years. The third objective was to identify the need for and availability of resources and support in overcoming obstacles to college success. Specifically, it was assessed whether (and in what ways) students involved in the intervention perceive significantly fewer obstacles and limitations to their development and greater availability of support and resources as a result of their involvement with the mentoring intervention. Second, the relationship between intervention involvement and students' perceptions of institutional and mentor nurturance and support was assessed. A survey was conducted with 77 undergraduate students at Florida International University. A comparison-control design was used to compare students who were involved in the intervention (n = 38) and students who were not involved (n = 39) on variables related to their goals, perceived obstacles and supports, and college experiences. Results indicate that students in the intervention and students in the control group differed in goal orientation and perceived obstacles and supports. The two groups did not differ in their perceptions of institutional nurturance and support. Implications for the development and refinement of interventions aimed at fostering professional development for minority students are discussed.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Social psychology|Higher education|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Waid, Lisa D, "Mentoring and minority student development" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3110377.