Mentoring is crucial for academic success in higher education, especially for women and minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) doctoral programs; however, minority students are least likely to receive effective mentorship. The purpose of this paper was to examine mentoring relationships involving doctoral students studying in the STEM programs at a university in the southeastern part of the United States. Data collection methods included focus groups with twenty-five students and individual interviews with nine underrepresented minority students studying in various STEM programs. Data was analyzed using an inductive process. The findings reveal that personal, social, and cultural inclusion are missing pieces in STEM doctoral mentoring relationships. This study makes a significant contribution to the literature by highlighting STEM doctoral students mentoring experiences that reveal what is missing in STEM doctoral mentorships. The findings of this study call for transformation of mentoring in graduate STEM education through mentor training that includes topics such as cultural responsivity.

Published in: London International Conference on Education (LICE-2020)

  • Date of Conference: 23-25 November 2020
  • DOI: 10.2053/LICE.2020.0024
  • ISBN: 978-1-913572-22-8
  • Conference Location: London, UK