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ERIC Number: ED555423
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 196
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-3602-4
An Analysis of Persistence and Motivation in Public Research Institutions for Doctoral Completers
Colbert, Marvette D.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Mercer University
Doctoral student attrition is an issue of great concern among leaders in higher education (Gardner, 2009a). In response to concern for high attrition rates in doctoral programs, several studies (Lovitts, 2001; National Science Foundation, 2004; Nettles & Millett, 2006) investigated this issue aimed at gaining data to address this concern. Despite the progress made in doctoral education the problem of doctoral attrition continues to exist. This study sought to understand the perceptions of doctoral completers' experiences at public research institutions, and what they believed contributed to their persistence towards degree completion. A qualitative phenomenological research design examined the perceptions of doctoral completers and what they perceived influenced their persistence towards degree completers. A snowball sampling technique identified the potential participants for this study. The sample included doctoral degree completers with an earned degree within the last five years in educational administration, educational leadership, or a related field that leads to a leadership appointment in higher education. Personal interviews were used to collect data. Analysis of data took place using Creswell's, (2007) adaptation of Moustakas's (1994) interpretation of the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen approach to phenomenological data analysis. The findings of this study provided valuable information that served beneficial in understanding the experiences doctoral completers perceived important to their persistence to degree completion. The findings of this study indicated that personal goals, doctoral program format, local and external communities were all-important factors that influenced persistence towards doctoral degree completion. The results indicated that the motivation that influenced doctoral students desire to pursue a doctoral degree influenced the successful completion of their degree program. The findings of this study suggests that when doctoral program formats as well as local and external communities embody systems of structure and support students were more likely to persist to doctoral degree completion. Consequently, the findings of this study suggest that there is a need for additional research soliciting the positive experiences of doctoral degree completers in other fields of study. In addition, future research should consider investigating this issue with a different sample of institutions and students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A