Date of Award



© 2020 Kaela Urquhart

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Jennifer Galipeau

Third Advisor

Kimathi Choma


Academic advising has become increasingly connected to student success and student retention. This study explores the role advising plays beyond student success, satisfaction, and retention efforts and focuses on student identity development. Specifically, it addresses the connection between academic advising and college student identity development through an exploratory case study utilizing a conceptual framework of transformational learning theories and literature. The study centers on the perspectives of upper-level students at a large public Midwestern university with the purpose of furthering the field’s knowledge of the student perception and voice in relation to the advisor-advisee effect on identity development. Data was gathered through a researcher-designed, qualitative survey with both Likert-scaled and open-ended questions considering what occurs in advising, student perception of development in advising, student perception of advisors, and student perception of the ideal advisor-advisee relationship. Participants from the study perceived a strong connection between academic advising and student identity development, looking to their academic advisors as trusted resources, agents of care, and development conversation facilitators. Results also affirm the importance of individualization to the field of academic advising and the advisor-advisee relationship. Recommendations for future research include the conducting of a similar study at a greater number of colleges, as well as similar surveys distributed to advisors and administrators for comparison of perception of advising between all stakeholders (students, advisors, administration).


Ed.D. Dissertation

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