Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Sam Evans (Director), Dr. John L. Keedy, Dr. Joseph M. Petrosko, Jr., Dr. Retta E. Poe, Dr. Douglas C. Smith

Degree Program

Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education (University of Louisville)


This is a joint dissertation with the University of Louisville.

Copyright 2012 by Gladys Patricia Brown Jordan

All rights reserved. Posted with permission of the author.

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy


The best style of advising to offer students has been questioned over and over. The literature review revealed uncertainty related to national surveys of advisors and students and encouraged smaller institutional reviews.

The Academic Advising Inventory (Winston and Sandor, 1984b), was administered to a proportionate to size random sample of advisors (faculty and professional) and then to the advisees of the advisors who responded to the survey. Variables of interest for advisors included age, gender, type (faculty or professional), and college. Variables of interest for students included gender, ethnicity, age, classification, generational status, and GPA.

A standard multiple regression, one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), bivariate analysis, and a difference of proportions test were used to answer six research questions. Post hoc analysis was done with the Scheffé post hoc test.

Significant findings for advisors included differences by advisor type relative to preference for advising style delivered (F (1, 39) = 5.174, p = .029) and for advising style preferred (F(1, 39) = 8.360, p = .006). Professional advisors had a stronger developmental orientation than faculty advisors. Gender was also a significant factor (F(1, 39) = 4.635, p = .038) in preference for advisors with females indicating a more developmental style than males. Significant findings related to the advising students received included college (χ2 (6, n= 286), p = .000), gender (χ2 (1, n = 293), p = .031), classification (χ2 (4, n= 294), p = .043), and being non-White (χ2 (1, n= 272), p = .013). Females and White students indicated a preference for more developmental advising. The level of developmental advising preferred increased with changes in student classification. For example, seniors preferred more developmental advising than freshmen.

Students and advisors were asked to complete five survey questions related to satisfaction with advising. The majority of advisor respondents were satisfied with advising and how well they advised. There was some concern over whether advising was included in tenure decisions and the amount of time available for advising. Student responses showed overall satisfaction. A term called mismatch was created by measuring the difference between students’ preferred advising style (as measured on the AAI continuum) and the measure of the advising they received. Bivariate analysis was used to examine differences in satisfaction scores based on a mismatch with advising. The findings were significant (χ2 (3, n= 279), p = .000).

The results of the study are not generalizable; however, they do point to several areas for future research. There is a population of students on campus who have indicated they are not receiving the style of advising they would prefer to receive. The incongruence can lead to lower levels of satisfaction and possibly a retention problem.


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