Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Thomas E. Miller, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Judith A. Ponticell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Amber D. Dumford, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Schneider, Ph.D.


College Advising, Stereotypes, Attitudes, Assumptions


Academic advisors are crucial to the success of students who attend higher education institutions (e.g., Himes, 2014; Paul & Fitzpatrick, 2015; Smith, 2005). They guide students to complete their degrees in a timely progression and serve as a contact for students to help increase a sense of belonging on college campuses. Higher education literature presented evidence that suggested academic advisors demonstrate implicit bias while interacting with students they advise (e.g., Bahr, 2008; Grau & Zotos, 2016). Implicit bias may expose academic advisors to errors in judgment and decision making while assisting students. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore academic advisors’ perceptions of implicit bias in interactions with students. Semi-structured interviews illuminated the lived experiences of academic advisors’ prior knowledge about implicit bias and their feelings about it manifesting during their interactions with advising students. Three major themes emerged from the data analysis: 1) participants had prior knowledge and are familiar with the topic of implicit bias; 2) participants believed biased interactions can influence student success; 3) participants’ responses to interview questions displayed implicit attitudes and implicit stereotypes while assisting students. These findings offer insight into meaningful professional development opportunities for academic advisors who are employed at higher education institutions, as well as future research into institutional factors that may contribute to implicit bias in academic advising.