Incorporating Mentoring Practices in Online Master's Programs
Online, adult learners at the master’s level bring a unique set of needs and require unique support in order to acclimate to graduate school and persist in an online program. At American Public University System, we recognized a need to help our master’s students be successful, especially in persisting near the beginning of the program. Experiencing imposter syndrome and adjusting to the rigors of graduate school may discourage students from continuing, and we have found that students who withdraw from their first course are much less likely to continue. To address this challenge, we took a holistic approach to support students through mentoring interventions in their first course. Building on the core tenets of mentoring, two academic schools implemented different approaches to mentoring in the first courses in their master’s programs. This session will provide an overview of these strategies to support master’s student persistence through mentoring in an online environment. We will highlight the approaches of the School of Business and the School of STEM to introduce our audience to different interventions that proved successful. Attendees can expect to gain ideas for increasing student success and master’s student persistence with holistic mentoring practices.