ERIC Number: ED435305
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
The Doctorate: Talking about the Degree.
Dinham, Steve; Scott, Catherine
This qualitative study examined experiences of 139 individuals with doctoral degrees to identify factors that inhibit and/or facilitate students' success in doctoral programs. The study used an e-mail survey which asked about personal background, entry/structure of degree, university/other support, supervision of program, the process, and overall effects. Individual chapters of the report discuss the overall design of the investigation, the participants and their backgrounds, entering a doctoral program, completing the doctorate, formal and informal aspects of the process, overall effects of the doctoral experience, and learning from and improving the doctoral experience. Factors identified as hindering doctorate completion included financial difficulties, family lifestyle problems, cultural difficulties and isolation, and problems dealing with university administration. Suggestions for improving doctoral programs and the doctoral experience address the importance of a pro-active, sympathetic approach to student recruitment; induction into the academic community and the relevant discipline; meeting the needs of a diverse student population; better linking of students and faculty members; preparation and support for supervisors; clarification of roles and expectations; power relationships and politics; flexible pathways; feedback and validation; and maintaining relationships beyond completion. (Contains 10 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Doctoral Degrees, Foreign Countries, Graduate Study, Graduate Surveys, Higher Education, Qualitative Research, School Holding Power, Student College Relationship, Student Development
University of Western Sydney, TES, UWS, Nepean, P.O. Box 10, Kingswood, NSW 2747, Australia ($20, Australian).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Western Sydney Univ., Nepean (Australia).
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A