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Abstract

This research examined the professional development mentoring experiences of African American doctoral recipients who participated in the Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholars Program or the McKnight Doctoral Fellows (MDF) Program, and are currently employed as faculty at an American college or university. The purpose of this research was to identify the types of professional development mentoring opportunities that assisted SREB and MDF program graduates in their transition into the professoriate, and to determine if race or gender of the faculty mentor played a significant role in their preparedness for the teaching, research, and service tasks required of faculty. It was anticipated that the findings of this study would provide a better understanding of the types of professional development needed to bridge the gap that exists between doctoral education and faculty career preparation, and increase the number of well-trained African Americans entering the professoriate. A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was employed to determine differences in the preparedness level of African Americans for the professoriate based on the race and gender of the faculty mentor. All tests were performed at the α = .05 level. The findings of this research suggested that involvement in a professional development mentoring relationship was beneficial to the preparedness of SREB and MDF doctoral graduates for the professoriate. The results also indicated no significant difference in participants’ preparedness for the professoriate based on the race or gender of their faculty mentor.

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