Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type

Degree of Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Leadership


Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Lovelace

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Brown

Third Advisor

Dr. Maggie Tolan


Academic advisement plays a significant role in enrollment retention and degree attainment. Little is known, however, about what master’s students want and need from their advisement experience, as most research on advisement preferences has focused on undergraduate students. The Prescriptive/Developmental Preference Scale (Yarbrough, 2010) was designed to assess students’ academic advisement preferences, particularly as they relate to prescriptive and developmental advisement. The author of the PDPS, which was piloted with undergraduate students, found that the instrument had construct validity issues, especially regarding the Prescriptive construct. This study aimed to modify and expand the PDPS to reliably assess master’s students’ advisement preferences and improve construct validity among the Prescriptive and Developmental scales. A first draft of the Modified PDPS was reviewed and edited by a panel of experts, composed of five academic advisors. Once a final draft of the Modified PDPS had been developed, the researcher distributed the instrument to actively-enrolled master’s students at a southeastern, mid-sized, suburban institution. 176 valid responses were received. Results were analyzed via SmartPLS 4 using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to determine if items loaded on their respective constructs as expected. Multiple analyses were performed before a statistically reliable and valid model was generated. The final recommended model of the Modified PDPS contained 15 items total, with a seven-item Prescriptive scale and eight-item Developmental scale. Analysis of participant responses indicated overall higher preference/agreement with the Prescriptive scale, particularly among master’s students who were enrolled in fully-online programs. Recommendations for continued research, implications for advising practice at the master’s level, and insights regarding instrument validation and measurement of advisement preferences are discussed.