Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education
Keedy, John L.
Higher education; Doctoral students; Graduate students; Persistence; Degree completion; Social integration; Academic integration
College dropouts; Dropout behavior, Prediction of; College administrators--Training of
Educational literature indicates that approximately half of all doctoral students persist to degree completion. The literature indicates persistence rates among the social sciences are even lower. This study examined factors influencing doctoral student persistence in education administration programs. Tinto's theory of graduate student persistence framed four research questions: Do the demographics of doctoral students persisting to degree completion in education administration differ from those not completing their programs? Do doctoral students in education administration programs articulate experiences of academic integration as influencing their persistence? Do doctoral students in education administration programs articulate experiences of social integration as influencing their persistence? Do doctoral students in education administration programs attribute commitments to external obligations as influencing their persistence? The design of the study was interpretive and exploratory in nature and utilized constant comparative analysis techniques. Survey and interview were used to collect participant views of doctoral student experiences. Participants (N = 30) for the study included those who had completed their dissertations (N = 15) and those who were All But Dissertation (N = 15) and attended two comprehensive research universities in the southeastern United States. The major findings from the study were that (a) no differences existed in demographics reported by degree completers and ABO participants; (b) degree completers described experiences related to academic integration, social integration, and external obligations as having sustaining effects on their perSistence to degree completion; (c) and ABO participants described experiences related to academic integration, social integration, and external obligations as having restraining effects on their perSistence. Findings indicated that students having positive academic and social integration experiences and the ability to negotiate shared responsibility for duties related to external obligations were more likely to complete their programs. Findings also supported that students having negative academic and social integration experiences and an inability to negotiate shared responsibility for duties related to external obligations were less likely to complete their programs.
Barnett, David Lee, "Experiences influencing degree completion articulated by doctoral students in education administration." (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 74.