Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version



Martinez, P., Jr., (2015). Making the difference: Exploring the perceptions of student affairs administrators and their mentoring relationships. M.A. thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Corey Rumann. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Paublo Martinez, Jr.


This qualitative research study explored the perceptions of student affairs administrators at a Midwest institution, and how they perceived their mentoring relationships with undergraduate students. The study investigated the perceptions of six participants as they reflected on past and present mentoring relationships, and the impact the relationships had on them during their time in student affairs. The literature review discusses the history of student affairs and mentoring, as well as the mentoring styles, benefits, and theories closely related to the concept of mentoring.

Through conducting a semi-structured interview with each participant, four themes emerged as they described the participants as mentors: relationship builders, professional contacts, encouragers, and self-reflectors. The four themes supported and added to the mentoring literature. In addition, the study helped create ways on how student affairs administrators can be mentors to undergraduate students. It challenges administrators to engage in professional development opportunities and become engaged in areas where students are most present. Implications and future recommendations for research were introduced. In conclusion, it is apparent that the participants involved in this study truly want to make a difference in the lives of their students.

Adviser: Corey Rumann