Department of Educational Administration


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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 Richard E. Hoover. Lincoln, NE: May, 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Samantha K. Mosier


The purpose of this case study was to explore the role that peer mentoring in a university honors program plays in self-authorship development for the student mentors at Midwestern University. Self-authorship was identified through participant responses identified in the three actions grounded in Baxter Magolda’s (2001) Learning Partnerships Model: (a) validate students as knowers, (b) situate learning in students’ experiences, and (c) define learning as mutually constructed meaning.

Research on student, peer-to-peer mentor relationships is often focused on the mentee rather than the mentor, so the goal of this research was to look further into the role and experiences of the student mentor and how those factors may impact self-authorship development. Another important factor is the research on interaction with peers. As identified in Pascarella and Terenzini (2005), “studies indicate consistently that students’ interactions with their peers, net of other relevant factors, promote positive academic and intellectual self-concepts and self-confidence” (p. 265). Peer mentoring could be considered that key peer-to-peer interaction.

In order to identify major trends surrounding this topic, literature surrounding self-authorship, peer mentoring and honors programs will be discussed. Context will also be explained, describing Midwestern University’s (MU) honors program purpose and structure.

Adviser: Richard E. Hoover