ERIC Number: ED406894
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Doctoral Student Retention.
Dorn, Shelly M.; Papalewis, Rosemary
This report describes a case study in the use of peer mentoring and cohorts to improve doctoral student retention and summarizes survey data reflecting the experience of eight universities. The University of California/California State University Fresno Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership was designed to create cohorts of doctoral students and doctoral faculty. With 50 percent of all doctoral students failing to complete their programs, universities are turning to group dynamics as a tool to maintain persistence. The formation of doctoral student and faculty cohorts is used to promote the retention of graduate students in professional schools. The close collaboration and reinforcement that develop between students and faculty improves task completion while it promotes team building practices. The practice of using mentor students from other cohorts, both in the university and the community, enhances the students' exposure to learning and provides much needed support to members trying to work full-time while earning their doctorates. The interaction between students and their cohort mentors facilitates more productive movement between students, the university, and the global marketplace. Data from a survey of 108 doctoral students from eight universities suggests that group cohesiveness and persistence to the degree are significantly correlated. (Contains 23 references.) (JLS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: California State University Fresno; Cohort Instructional Programs; University of California
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).