Book by: Darla J. Twale
Review by: Dr. Tiffany N. Labon
Culverhouse College of Commerce A.H. Bean Undergraduate Student Services Center
The University of Alabama
Graduate education is essential to the continuous growth of higher education. Faculty members and graduate students are at the helm of continuing the research, scholarship and service that are the pillars of higher education. Each year thousands of men and women set out to advance their knowledge and impact their field of study. The book highlights each step graduate students take in embarking on this journey: the application and admittance processes, forming relationships with their faculty advisor and cohort members, progressing through coursework, comprehensive exams, thesis and dissertation writing, and graduation. As it speaks to the students’ process through the graduate journey, the book defines for faculty members what it means to advise graduate students. Throughout the book, it showcases small, but informative scenarios of faculty/student situations that allow the reader to digest some of the day-to-day issues that faculty members may face as advisors. It is from this relationship that Twale (2015) wants faculty members to “see the possibilities in establishing strong professional relationships with their graduate students by viewing the advising, supervising, and chairing role as a significant feature of their career” (p. xi). By “provid[ing] the best advising and supervision possible” (p. xi), faculty members are ensuring that the future generation of scholars has what it needs to move in and through the graduate school journey. Faculty advisors help equip graduate students on how to handle the various challenges that they will face in the future.
The book is immersed with multiple forms of best practices and the leading research about graduate education over the last decade and a half. This book will aid academic advisors, both professional and faculty, with assisting undergraduate and graduate students in what to look for in their quest to find a faculty mentor or advisor at the graduate level. It also would allow advisors who do not primarily work with graduate students to have foreknowledge about abilities and skill sets that undergraduate students should be looking for in their research about their graduate education.
The book is broken down into manageable chapters, which allows advisors to use this text as an advising resource. For example, it will assist in guiding the conversation about why students want to pursue an advanced degree. For some undergraduate students, the entities of graduate education are foreign to them and only have a vague idea of what they will be undertaking by obtaining a Master’s or doctoral degree. This book proves to be a valuable resource for professional and faculty advisors as they look to help their students make the best possible decision for their professional and personal future goals.
A Faculty Guide to Advising and Supervising Graduate Students. (2015). Book by Darla J. Twale. Review by Dr. Tiffany N. Labon. New York, NY: Routledge. 156 pp., $35.95, (Paperback), ISBN 978-1-138-80269-1