It's All Part of the Process: Advising, Coaching, and Mentoring Graduate Students


  • Simone C.O. Conceição University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Raji Swaminathan University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee



advising, coaching, graduate, mentoring, students


This essay examines doctoral student advising as an essential component of the faculty role in doctoral student retention. The essay breaks down advising from a monolithic catch-all term and instead argues that advising is composed of three progressively expansive roles: adviser, coach, and mentor. The distinctions between the roles are clarified and explained and, finally, several strategies for advising within each role are offered.

Author Biographies

Simone C.O. Conceição, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Simone C.O. Conceição, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Administrative Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Education. She can be reached at

Raji Swaminathan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Raji Swaminathan, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She can be reached at


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