International Journal of Doctoral Studies

Published by Informing Science Institute
Online ISSN: 1556-8873
Publications
Article
The Professional Doctorate (ProfDoc) is attracting increasing attention because of its perceived greater than the Doctor of Philosophy's (Ph.D.'s) focus on meeting the needs of the knowledge economy. The paper examines the nature of the ProfDoc vis-a-vis the Ph.D. and identifies signifi- cant characteristics of the ProfDoc, especially in respect of relevance and performativity. It then analyses these characteristics in the context of the professional Doctorate in Business Administra- tion (DBA) in Information Systems (IS) at an Australian university. An ethnographic approach is used to examine the internal (university) and external (student) environments of the DBA(IS). Recommendations are made to increase its effectiveness for the knowledge economy, including moving to a greater student and industry centred approach. Finally, conclusions are drawn to de- termine its relevance to the knowledge economy.
 
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Printable Table of Contents for IJDS Volume 11, 2016
 
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Table of Contents for Volume 13, 2018, of the International Journal of Doctoral Studies
 
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Table of Contents for Volume 14, 2019, of the International Journal of Doctoral Studies
 
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Table of Contents for Volume 16, 2021, of the International Journal of Doctoral Studies
 
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Table of Contents for Volume 17, 2022, of the International Journal of Doctoral Studies
 
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Aim/Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown required doctoral writers to demonstrate resiliency to continue their culminating projects. This study examines the socioecological factors that fostered that resiliency. Background: Resiliency is a key factor in determining whether doctoral writers continue with their culminating projects. Thus far, studies on doctoral student experiences during the pandemic have yet to investigate doctoral students’ adaptive strategies to continue with their projects. Methodology: The qualitative study uses in-depth interviews to document the narrative journeys of four research participants pre-pandemic and in-pandemic. Those narratives are analyzed using an infectious disease resilience framework as a metaphor to highlight the resilience within each participant’s writing ecology. Contribution: The study seeks to reframe the approach to doctoral writing beyond the individual student toward a broader ecological system to better serve those students and the knowledge produced, regardless of a disruptive crisis. Findings: The disruptions that the four participants experienced are documented through their narratives. The participants described their coping strategies related to their workspace, technology, loss of connection, and their breaking point. Recommendations for Practitioners: The resilience shown by the four participants demonstrates areas where institutions can provide assistance to alleviate the pressures placed on doctoral writers. Reframing the dissertation writing process as a socioecological system rather than a cognitive one allows for solutions to problems that are not limited to individual writers. Recommendation for Researchers: Extending the socioecological systems metaphor, further research should investigate other stakeholders in a writer’s ecology to obtain different perspectives on a particular system. Impact on Society: The pandemic has presented an opportunity for educational institutions to reassess how they can cultivate students’ resilience to positively impact their socioecological balance. Future Research: It would be worthwhile to document the post-pandemic experiences of doctoral writers to find out how they seek balance in their ecology as they continue to deal with the post-pandemic fallout.
 
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Aim/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to document the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for doctoral students who were proposing, conducting, or writing up their doctoral thesis, dissertation, or other culminating project. Background: For doctoral students, the process of designing, implementing, and writing a culminating project is a key part of the learning experience. These projects typically require students to direct their own learning and to manage setbacks, obstacles, and challenges as they arise. During the COVID-19 pandemic, doctoral students around the globe had to undertake this key learning experience in the context of a global crisis. Methodology: During August and September 2020, 235 doctoral students from around the world completed an online questionnaire consisting of demographic questions and three open-ended questions about their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis involved several cycles of In Vivo Coding of the data, which yielded codes, categories, and eventually themes. At each stage, the researchers collaborated to generate the codes, and the categories and themes arose through several rounds of discussion. Contribution: Our study adds to the small body of knowledge on doctoral students’ experiences from around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic by identifying categories of experience through qualitative, open-ended survey questions. The study highlights doctoral students’ challenges and how these were either exacerbated or mitigated by pandemic-induced changes. Findings: Our survey respondents described impacts on their culminating projects’ progress in five major categories: research design, access to resources, workload, mental health, and finances. Recommendations for Practitioners: The five categories of impacts emerging from our participants’ responses may be useful for faculty and administrators of doctoral programs to consider in reviewing their programs’ responses to the pandemic and making future plans for providing academic continuity in crisis situations as well as re-evaluating the priorities and structures of doctoral program to better support students overall moving forward. Recommendation for Researchers: Further research is needed to better understand how the pandemic impacted individual students’ research and writing processes, including adaptive strategies. Impact on Society: Institutions need to be aware of systemic strain on doctoral students under the best of conditions and be especially aware of the impacts of a crisis and plan contingencies to assist students with a focus on the areas of finances, resource access, workload, research design, and mental health. Future Research: Future research should seek out additional perspectives of male doctoral students. Additionally, data capturing perspectives from students at other points in time are needed as the pandemic continued to unfold after this study’s data collection period.
 
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Printable table of contents for the International Journal of Doctoral Studies, Volume 10, 2015
 
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Table of Contents for the International Journal of Doctoral Studies, Volume 12, 2017
 
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Table of Contents for Volume 15, 2020, of the International Journal of Doctoral Studies
 
Pre-and post-survey results
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Aim/Purpose: This study focuses on how a short-term international study abroad program to England impacted doctoral students’ cultural competencies. Background: The case study captures the experiences of six school leadership doctoral students who traveled abroad to East London, England. The overarching goal of this experience was to improve their self-efficacy for culturally competent school leadership. Methodology: Through this case study of six doctoral students in an educational leadership doctoral program, the researchers sought to answer the following question: How do knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors around cultural competencies of U.S. school leaders shift because they participated in an international internship? Through pre-post surveys and follow-up interviews, the researchers explored how the international experience impacted cultural competencies. Contribution: The primary goal of this experience was to improve self-efficacy for culturally responsive school leadership. The doctoral students were either aspiring school leaders or were currently serving as a building leader of a P-12 school. It is from these students that we can learn how a short-term international experience might impact school leaders, and in return, the students and staff they serve. This study adds to the limited literature about the benefits of study abroad programs for educational leadership students in doctoral programs. Findings: The doctoral students in this case study gained knowledge and skills because of this study abroad. Knowledge was gained about educational systems and self-awareness. Skills learned included relationship skills, travel skills, and skills related to empowering teachers. Attitudes about diversity shifted to be more encompassing. Further, the behaviors of doctoral students changed because of this trip. The results from the pre-test and post-test on cultural competence indicated a significant improvement in cultural competence for the group. Recommendations for Practitioners: The knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavioral shifts captured in this study spoke to profound growth around cultural competencies. It is through preparing these doctoral students before the international sojourn, guiding them during the experience, and following up with them upon return that we were able to create a supportive, meaningful, and impactful study abroad experience for future school leaders. Thus, these experiences will likely impact their collective leadership in the future. Recommendation for Researchers: Though research about the benefits of study abroad programs for graduate students is limited, several studies are about the benefits of study abroad and international programs in undergraduate education. There is all but a lack of literature focused on doctoral educational leadership students and study abroad. Nevertheless, for many students who choose to study overseas, it may be the first opportunity they have to explore a new country and to be fully immersed in a culture that is different from their own. Through these experiences, many development opportunities can affect how students view their professional work. Impact on Society: Through exposure to others, by experiencing diverse ways of thinking and doing, and through critical conversation, institutions of higher education can develop school leaders to be culturally competent, culturally responsive, and socially just. As demonstrated in this study, international experiences are one decisive way to start this conversation. Future Research: Research has shown that it is possible to increase students’ cultural competence through study abroad. As such, in the current study, the researchers took a mixed methods approach to understand how cultural competencies around knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors shifted. As a result, we found that each doctoral student increased their cultural awareness in significant ways. Students gained knowledge by comparing the cultures within education systems and gained self-awareness about their own cultural awareness issues. More research needs to be done to better understand the impact of study abroad experiences on graduate students in educational leadership programs. These experiences could be short experiences (i.e., one to two weeks) or longer experiences (i.e., more than two weeks). Further, focusing on developing cultural competency before, during, and after a trip in different educational fields other than educational leadership (e.g., literacy, curriculum & instruction) could have significant school-level effects. Lastly, extending study abroad experiences into locations where English is not the first or primary language could provide opportunities for developing language skills while enhancing patience, cross-cultural communication, and problem-solving skills that could be beneficial personally and professionally.
 
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The primary aim of this study was to better understand the antecedents of doctoral students' emotional well-being, and their plans to leave academia. Based on past research, antecedents included departmental support, the quality of the supervisory relationship, and characteristics of the supervisory relationship. We used a mixed-methods study, and surveyed 186 doctoral students from nine countries. We found that supportive relationships, at the departmental and advisor level, reduced emotional exhaustion and intentions to leave academia, and that emotional exhaustion was positively related to doctoral students' intentions to leave academia. Findings also indicated that advisor experience and frequency of meetings reduced students' emotional exhaustion but did not affect their intentions to leave academia. Recommendations to reduce emotional exhaustion and to temper doctoral student attrition before and after degree completion are offered.
 
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Aim/Purpose: This paper examined the balance and meaning of two types of experiences in the day-to-day activity of doctoral students that draw them into academia and that move them away from academia: ‘feeling like an academic and belonging to an academic community;’ and ‘not feeling like an academic and feeling excluded from an academic community.’ Background: As students navigate doctoral work, they are learning what is entailed in being an academic by engaging with their peers and more experienced academics within their community. They are also personally and directly experiencing the rewards as well as the challenges related to doing academic work. Methodology : This study used a qualitative methodology; and daily activity logs as a data collection method. The data was collected from 57 PhD students in the social sciences and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields at two universities in the UK and two in Canada. Contribution: The current study moves beyond the earlier studies by elaborating on how academic activities contribute/hinder doctoral students’ sense of being an academic. Findings: The participants of the study generally focused on disciplinary/scholarly rather than institutional/service aspects of academic work, aside from teaching, and regarded a wide range of activities as having more positive than negative meanings. The findings related to both extrinsic and intrinsic factors that play important roles in students’ experiences of feeling (or not) like academics are elaborated in the study. Recommendations for Practitioners: Supervisors should encourage their students to develop their own support networks and to participate in a wide range of academic activities as much as possible. Supervisors should encourage students to self-assess and to state the activities they feel they need to develop proficiency in. Future Research: More research is needed to examine the role of teaching in doctoral students’ lives and to examine the cross cultural and cross disciplinary differences in doctoral students’ experiences.
 
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Aim/Purpose: The purpose of this exploratory qualitative case study was to understand dissertation chair agency, chair preparation, and academic supports provided by experienced Educational Leadership Ed.D. dissertation chairs in the United States. Background: Previous research has identified attrition rates of 50-60 percent in education doctoral programs. This research helps identify the faculty profiles and academic supports provided by Educational Leadership faculty who have served on successful dissertation committees. Understanding these findings may help to improve retention and completion in other doctoral programs. Methodology: This was an exploratory qualitative case study. Ten doctoral faculty who have successfully chaired 419 Ed.D. Educational Leadership dissertations at accredited U.S. colleges and universities were interviewed. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Contribution: The findings from this study contribute to the body of knowledge on doctoral retention and dissertation completion by providing information on promising practices from the perspective of dissertation chairs. Findings: While successful dissertation chairs exhibited expertise as researchers, seven of the ten participants reported that they had limited training for chairing dissertations. Academic supports included coursework that was organized coherently with a focus on opportunities for substantive feedback, writing support and research methodology. Recommendations for Practitioners: Dissertation chairs should utilize their agency to ensure that the program has the proper resources to support doctoral education. This includes adequate writing support for graduate students, courses taught by faculty who are engaged in research and understand the requirements for completing a dissertation, and protecting faculty time so that they are able to provide students substantive feedback within coursework and at the dissertation phase. Recommendation for Researchers: Researchers should continue to explore the causes of attrition in doctoral programs and identify specific actions that can be taken to improve program completion rates. Impact on Society: Increasingly U.S. institutions of higher learning are being called to validate their success and improve retention rates. Understanding the faculty profiles and academic supports utilized by successful doctoral faculty has the potential to improve retention and thereby increase completion rates and consequentially alleviate the stressors that ABD students experience. Future Research: Future research could focus on expanding the findings of this study by exploring the perspectives of faculty based on institution type and examining how socio-emotional factors such as student-student and faculty-student relationships are intentionally established in programs with high graduation rates.
 
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This study examines the ways that part-time Ph.D. students develop community within the academic department and how a sense of community is related to persistence. This study included 12 participants (ten students and two program chairs) in two academic departments at one urban research institution. This qualitative study followed a descriptive case study design and provided three levels of data: the institution is the bounded system; the academic departments are the cases; and the participants are embedded cases. Positive relationships with peers and faculty served as a source of encouragement and supported persistence, particularly during challenging semesters and later phases of the doctoral program. However, it was often difficult for the participants to develop and/or maintain relationships, due to limited proximity, limited access to faculty, and changing cohorts. Participants did not consider full-time doctoral students to be part of their community, due to perceived differences between part-time and full-time students. The participants also perceived that faculty catered to full-time students and preferred to conduct research with them rather than part-time students.
 
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Aim/Purpose: This particular study aims to contribute to the recent scholarly inquiry of doctoral student identity work within collegiate, attendee-driven writing networks. The study closely explores the implementation and impact of supportive measures in academia for novice researchers in the form of writing events. This paper draws on two case studies of doctoral students reflecting on the impact of their participation in social, academic literacy networks. The project also explores how these individuals were able to think about and mediate their own identities as they developed their reputations as experts in their field. Background: Completing a doctoral degree is a rich, rewarding endeavour; however, it is also a challenging process. Novice academics are vulnerable to psychosocial and emotional stresses associated with being an academic within the highly competitive environment, such as isolation and burnout. More recently, scholarly interest has emerged regarding the academy’s pressures upon novice researchers, such as those entering full-time academic roles after completing their doctoral studies. Methodology: A qualitative research design was implemented where data collection for this project involved in-depth semi-structured interviewing. The nature of the semi-structured interviews enabled professional dialogue with each participant. The semi-structured nature of the interviews enabled flexibility where follow-up questions and probes allowed for richer data gathering. Data analysis occurred within a sociocultural framework. Contribution: Explicitly focusing on doctoral students, we build upon existing knowledge and understanding of how novice academic writers negotiate, interpret, and understand the impact of their research dissemination and roles. While exploring how these individuals think about and mediate their identities during the initial period of asserting their reputations as experts in the field, this study looks at how collegiate, attendee-driven writing networks can support novice academics to meet the demands for quality research dissemination and strive to meet the metrics expected of them. Findings: This research has found that novice researchers who thrive on social interaction may often find collegiality lacking in their professional lives. Furthermore, those who can find a support network that fosters positive self-belief and provides a means for sharing successes benefit from countless opportunities for empowerment as novice researchers work through their doctorates. Recommendations for Practitioners: This research confirms and provides details around how a collegiate atmosphere for novice academics helps mitigate feelings of isolation, vulnerability, and a lack of self-confidence in their scholastic ability. Overcoming such feelings occurs through learning from peers, overcoming isolation and learning self-managing techniques. Therefore, establishing spaces for collegiate, attendee-driven writing events within doctoral settings is encouraged. Recommendation for Researchers: Further research into the benefits of collegiate, attendee-driven writing events and supporting the process of academic writing and dissemination can focus on transdisciplinary writing groups, as this particular study was centred within a specific faculty. Impact on Society: Within the neoliberal context of higher education, novice academics can benefit from attendee-driven writing events intended to empower them and provide growth opportunities. Through participation in collegiate, attendee driven writing networks, which are social and peer-based, we show that novice academics can learn how to combat unsettling feelings of perfectionism, isolation, fear of inadequacy, and failure. The social element is central to understanding how writers can increase their productivity and dissemination by writing alongside peers. Future Research: Novice researchers also represent early career researchers; thus, exploring collegiate, attendee-driven writing events for practicing academics is also encouraged. As noted above, exploring the potential of transdisciplinary writing networks would also be of value.
 
Descriptive statistics (N=391)
Article
Aim/Purpose: Despite the literature documenting the importance of family in persistence, doctoral students’ Academic-Family integration has been relatively ignored. Thus, in this study, the construct of doctoral academic-family integration is defined, followed by the creation and validation an instrument. Background: The challenge of integrating the doctoral degree program and family is a central concern for doctoral students and higher education personnel. Setting up boundaries to achieve a satisfactory balance between academic and family life is an issue that affects a doctoral student’s decision to persist. Methodology: An expert panel and principal component analysis (PCA) was used to analyze data from a sample of doctoral students to examine the validity of the Doctoral Academic-Family Integration Inventory (DAFII). Cronbach alpha coefficients were calculated to examine reliability. Contribution: While higher education institutions have made strides in work-family integration theory, research, and policy for their faculty and staff, the academic-family (AF) topic has not emerged as readily in policies and initiatives for doctoral students (Lester, 2013). The topic of AF balance of doctoral students, both in distance and residential programs, is understudied despite the fact that family is a consistent factor identified in doctoral persistence and attrition. Findings: An expert panel and PCA was used to analyze data, resulting in a 22 item valid Doctoral Academic-Family Integration Inventory with three components – Academic-Family Balance, Academic-Family Boundary Setting, and Academic-Family Interference. Cronbach alpha coefficients results demonstrate that the inventory has good reliability. Recommendations for Practitioners: Having the DAFII will likely prove to be of substantial utility to faculty and administrators in doctoral programs. The scale may be used as a formative assessment for doctoral students entering a program to provide information about academic-family boundaries and to address weaknesses in academic-family balance that could result in attrition. Recommendation for Researchers: This research provides a psychometrically sound instrument that can be used to advance the research on academic-family integration, a term that has not been previously defined and a topic that has been sorely understudied despite the fact that family is central to doctoral persistence. Researchers now have an instrument to examine this construct. Given the limited research on academic-family integration, the DAFII also provides a tool to extend research on persistence. Impact on Society: Understanding academic-family integration is vital as many doctoral students begin developing patterns for integration in their program that they carry into the workforce. Future Research: Further validation of the instrument can be pursued with doctoral students as well as graduate students in STEM and non-STEM fields, given the limited population sample used in this study. Future research is needed to examine how academic-family integration may vary within same-sex relationships and based on the doctoral student’s gender identity.
 
Knowledge Areas Knowledge 
Competency Areas Competencies Interpersonal Development 
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The purpose of this study was to examine university presidents' perceptions of their academic doctoral preparation program as it related to their preparation for the university presidency. Us-ing a mixed methods approach, thirteen presidents shared what knowledge and competencies they perceived as having learned while in their doctoral program. The areas of knowledge they be-lieved they developed were foundational knowledge, knowledge acquisition of context, and com-plex cognitive knowledge. The four competencies areas they believed they refined in their pro-grams were interpersonal development, personal attributes, management, and communications. They identified fund-raising as an area they were not well prepared for. The results of this study should help administrators, curriculum developers, and faculty in higher education administration programs to better understand higher education students' needs and en-hance their programs. In addition, it should provide information about whether and how profes-sional development, mentoring, and coaching activities within these programs help in preparing individuals for executive leadership and ensuring their success.
 
Theoretical model  
Results from the Structural Model  
Comparing Models across Time ** p < .001 * p < .05  
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With journal impact factors becoming increasingly visible aspects of academia and doctoral edu-cation, it is important for researchers to understand the process of becoming published in a high-impact journal so that faculty members are able to prepare doctoral students for successful publi-cation. Using a sample of empirical manuscripts published on a common topic (the business value of information technology or BVIT), this study explored the extent to which a scholar's status and quality of respective manuscript explained journal quality and examined how scholar status af-fected the relationship between manuscript quality and journal quality. Differences over time were also explored, and models from two different time periods (pre-and post-2000) were com-pared. Findings emerged that have implications for doctoral research and education. First, schol-ars with higher status were published in journals with higher impact factors, even if the manu-script was not of superior quality. Second, in post-2000 years, the contribution of scholar status in predicting journal quality became significant. The productivity gap between scholars from top-tier institutions and scholars associated with all other institutions has increased in this particular domain in recent years and/or that scholar status is exerting greater impact on journal outlet over time. Findings are discussed in context of management schools' doctoral education programs.
 
Tests of Between-Subjects Effects
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Aim/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine to which degree age, race, and Socioeconomic Status (SES) influence academic self-efficacy and academic self-handicapping behaviors in doctoral. Background: Across all disciplines, more than 50% of students who begin a doctoral program do not persist to graduation. Although the issue of student retention and psychological factors have been proffered, much attention has not been placed on this relationship. Past researchers have focused primarily on academic-related, student-related, institutional, and financial factors. Methodology: A quantitative study was conducted, using the exploratory factor analysis. One-hundred and sixty-five participants, of legal age, who had completed at least one semester of a doctoral program, were involved in this current study. Contribution: The findings from this study increase the empirical evidence reported on the scarce literature on student retention and psychological factors in doctoral students. Findings: The factor analysis test did not show a statistically significance between the dependent variables -academic self-efficacy and academic self-handicapping- and any of the independent variables – gender, race, age, and socioeconomic status. Recommendations for Practitioners: Higher education leaders should make a proactive effort to understand the issue of student retention from a psychological perspective and make implementations to reduce these problems for doctoral students. Recommendation for Researchers: Future researchers should explore in-depth psychological variables that contribute to the high attrition rates in doctoral students. Impact on Society: A better understanding of the factors affecting the cognitive strategies and self-constructs of doctoral students could provide those working in academia with a better understanding of the problem and increase awareness at a societal level. Future Research: It is recommended that future research be carried using a mixed methods approach to offset the limitations found in the quantitative strand and gain thick, rich data from the qualitative strand.
 
Article
Aim/Purpose: The overarching purpose of this paper was to examine how a collaborative working group of doctoral students from different institutions evolved into a community of practice and developmental network. Specifically, the aim of this study was to examine this group’s progression from working group to support group, a process that occurred through academic support, social support, professional networking, professional development, and skill development. Background: Although doctoral cohorts are often formed within the same school, some informal groups may develop among students in the same discipline from different schools. The authors explored how the formation of a working group, through attendance at an annual academic conference, enhanced their doctoral education and expanded their network through social and academic support. Methodology: The participant-researchers in this study used collaborative autoethnography to collectively examine their participation in this group formed outside of their respective schools of social work. Having worked together for over a year, meeting monthly through video calls, on a discrete project, the participant-researchers embarked on this collaborative authoethnography as they discovered their transformation from working group to support group. This group of five participant-researchers examined their own feelings about their participation in the group and the consequent benefits of belonging to such a group. Contribution: This study makes an important contribution to the doctoral education literature about how doctoral students from different schools can form informal groups that serve as a key source of intra-disciplinary networking, resources, opportunities, and support. This contribution helps to further the research on what kinds of supports doctoral students need in order to remain in their programs and graduate. Findings: We found that a working group of doctoral students from different schools of social work can develop into a community that can be used for social, academic, and networking support. We discovered that relationships with peers across schools provided a supportive environment that was distinct from those formed within our schools. Joining together to achieve a common research goal encouraged members to extend content-specific support. In addition, this group found that members had the opportunity to compare experiences at their respective doctoral programs, which enhanced peer support. Recommendations for Practitioners: Special interest groups at national conferences should encourage doctoral students at different schools to form communities of practice or similar groups. This group formation may lead to opportunities for doctoral students to work on a common project (e.g., website, publication) and serve as a source of social and academic support. Recommendation for Researchers: More research is needed on whether this relationship among doctoral students within the same discipline at different schools is equally helpful among students in different disciplines. Additional research is also needed on whether communities formed during doctoral studies can promote future collaboration as students become professors or researchers. Impact on Society: The present study’s model is applicable for use in academic settings where doctoral students convene for conferences relating to research, teaching, and practice. This model can facilitate the formation of inter-university working groups among students with similar research interests, career trajectories, and life responsibilities. Such groups can enrich peer support, promote collaboration, and enhance professional development. Future Research: More research is needed on whether this kind of social support group amongst doctoral students can be sustained as the students transition into academic careers. Additional research is also needed on whether these types of informal groups work across research focus or whether it works best when students have the same research focus.
 
Academic quality of life (QAL) schema (author developed)
Article
Aim/Purpose: Vision 2030 (Saudi Arabia’s national development plan) expects women (50% of all university students) to contribute to a viable economy and ambitious nation, meaning data about their quality of academic life (QAL) during their university experience are timely and significant. They are key players in the nation’s future. Background: This inaugural, exploratory study addresses this under-researched topic by exploring the spiritual, cognitive, physical, social, and psychological dimensions of Saudi female graduate students’ QAL. Methodology: Data comprised the lead author’s reflections and reflexion and interviews with 17 Saudi female graduate students conveniently sampled from Imam Abdul Rahman bin Faisal University (IAU) (Eastern Province) in January 2020. A new Academic Quality of Life Schema was especially designed for this study and future research. Contribution: A Middle Eastern country’s perspective is shared about female graduate students’ QAL from a holistic perspective (spiritual, mind, and body) and through the lens of a new QAL Schema (cognitive, social, and psychological). Findings: Spirituality was the highest rated holistic QAL dimension (76.6%) followed with body (67.4%) and mind (intellect) (58.8%). Despite a generally positive QAL evaluation (67.6%), participants (a) lamented their inability to sustain previous levels of religious devotion and practice, (b) reported health issues with deep emotions and surprise, and (c) experienced dissatisfaction with the educational aspect of their QAL. Regarding the QAL Schema, (a) their lack of research savviness hampered their ability to learn and enjoy the graduate experience; (b) psychological anxiety hampered their ability to connect with the Creator and poor time management and heavy academic workload compromised exercise and leisure with all three causing an imbalanced lifestyle; and (c) social peer camaraderie and positive classroom environments were appreciated. Recommendations for Practitioners: Women’s colleges should (a) collect subjective data about female graduate students’ satisfaction with university services, specialization and teaching decisions, and faculty members’ and peer colleagues’ support; (b) provide and promote services related to places and means of recreation, leisure, and alone time; and (c) ensure that guidance and counseling offices develop strategies to reduce stress and anxiety factors hindering QAL. Recommendation for Researchers: Future studies should use larger sample frames and, for comparative purposes, previously validated empirical QAL instruments. Saudi-based QAL studies should include religion. Mixed methods research designs are recommended as is a gendered comparative study for the gender-segregated Saudi higher education context. Impact on Society: Deeper understandings of Saudi female graduate students’ QAL will facilitate (a) tailored institutional and faculty support leading to higher enrolment levels, (b) stronger knowledge bases and more sophisticated research skills for students and (c) improved labor force participation. Future Research: Over 1/3 of participants felt their academic gains were not as strong as anticipated, yet few commented about teaching staff or teaching methods. Future research should expand inquiries into the educational aspect of QAL as well as the underrepresented social aspect of QAL.
 
Article
Aim/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explain how Distance Education women EdD students who are mothers balanced and integrated their multiple identities (e.g., mother, student, professional) to persist. Background: It is well documented that parenting students experience higher levels of stress and pressure during their degree pursuit than their non-parenting counterparts. It is also well documented that doctoral attrition is a persistent problem across decades and disciplines, and examination of specific populations was necessary to better understand how to foster doctoral persistence. Methodology : Data were collected from 17 women via questionnaires, life maps, and interviews and were analyzed in accordance with grounded theory procedures. Contribution: This study generated a novel theoretical model to explain women EdD students’ academic identity progression from students to scholars and its intersection with other salient identities, especially mother, and the core sense of self in alignment with other identity theories. Findings: Academic identity development from student to research scholar is complex and challenging, but follows a unique progression that begins with gaining competence in research, followed by a confidence to conduct research. This positive attitude toward research is often shaped by an influential advisor or mentor, a relationship that enables a student mother to envision herself as a scholar and mother. However, it is a woman’s social conditions (e.g., supportive spouse, friends, or employer) that provide her the confidence and space to differentiate, develop, and intersect multiple identities, a process that allows for successful negotiation and integration of identities, and ultimately, persistence and attainment of the doctorate. Recommendations for Practitioners : Findings highlight the need for more women faculty role models in higher education. To increase the number of women faculty mentors in academia, program administrators can recruit, retain, and support and encourage parental visibility through developing structures and supports for faculty with families. Given the women candidates’ emphasis on stewardship, faculty should design coursework to allow students to intersect assignments with professional goals and practices, and support empirically and theoretically grounded dissertations aimed at not only solving problems of practice but also aimed at advocacy. Recommendation for Researchers: Research is needed with women doctoral candidates in other disciplines from other institutions and regions of the country, including those without children and individuals in non-heterosexual relationships. Impact on Society: This study is an important first step in better understanding female identity development through the doctoral process. Future Research: Themes uncovered in this research need further investigation. Ruptures in relationships were uncovered but not fully explored or saturated. More research is needed to understand the specific contexts and factors leading to both relationship fractures and the disruption in the academic identity trajectory.
 
Mellor's (2004) Approaches to coping from racism
Experiences with racism and sexism
Doctoral women of color navigational strategies
Article
Aim/Purpose: This qualitative study examined the racist and sexist experiences of doctoral women of color in the academy. Background: Doctoral women of color (e.g., Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Latina Americans, and Native Americans) continue to experience racism and sexism in academic spaces. While few studies have explored the experiences of doctoral students of color and doctoral women of color, with a larger emphasis on how they respond to racism, our study sought to further the knowledge and discourse surrounding the intersectionality of racism and sexism in academic contexts by examining the intersectionality of race and gender systems that impact the lived realities of doctoral women of color as women and people of color. Methodology: This qualitative study employed multiracial feminism and Mellor’s taxonomy of coping styles as theoretical foundations to explore and understand how doctoral women of color experience and navigate racist and sexist incidents. Contribution: The study contributes to research in various areas: (1) it expands our understanding of how doctoral women of color experience racism and sexism, (2) it deepens our perspective about the strategies and methods that they employ to negotiate and overcome these experiences, which can directly inform efforts to support and retain doctoral and other students of color, and (3) it encourages scholars to examine the experiences of doctoral women of color from an anti-deficit approach that acknowledges the social networks, skills, and knowledge that doctoral women of color rely on to disrupt and persist in inequitable contexts as they pursue academic success. Findings: Our findings contribute a classification system that incorporates experiences of doctoral women of color with racism and sexism. Categories in this classification include covert, overt, and physical and material experiences. Our findings also present a classification system that represents navigational strategies of doctoral women of color, or the ways they respond to and overcome racist and sexist experiences. Categories in this classification include defensive, controlled, and direct strategies. Recommendations for Practitioners: First, our findings suggest a critical need for administrators and educators to understand the experiences of women of color and recognize the impact these experiences have on their persistence and success in college. Research on doctoral women of color is limited and very little is known about the entirety of their experiences in graduate programs. This study addresses this gap by exploring how doctoral women of color persist despite the intersectionality of racist and sexist alienation and marginalization. It is important that faculty and staff engage in culturally relevant education and training in order to better understand how to support doctoral women of color as they face these situations. We need more educators who engage in culturally relevant and responsive practices and pedagogy that seek to include their students’ whole identities and lever-age these identities in the classroom. Additionally, more educators need to be trained in ways to recognize and address racist and sexist incidents in their class-rooms and dismantle systems of oppression rather than reinforce them. Specifically, we need to better equip educators to recognize the hard-to-distinguish sexist incidents, which, as our participants suggested, are well concealed within the fabric of our gendered and sexualized society. Second, this study can benefit those in program and resource development to create effective programming and strategies to engage these acts of resilience that enable women of color to succeed in graduate school. Rather than approaching the support and development of doctoral women of color from a deficit perspective of assisting them through challenges, it is more important to fully-engage with these students to recognize what coping strategies they have used that can better inform successful retention programs. Furthermore, mentorship from faculty was highlighted as an important means for participants to address and cope with their negative experiences. Thus, more mentoring relationships between faculty and the student and across student peer groups should be intentionally engaged. This is a system of support also noted in extant literature. As part of the doctoral socialization process, mentoring has many benefits for doctoral students. Specifically, for doctoral women of color, mentoring relationships can be a critical tool for supporting them in managing negative experiences, especially considering that it can minimize feelings of loneliness and isolation. Recommendation for Researchers: Our research contributes to the literature with emphasis on the ways in which doctoral women of color respond to and cope with racism and sexism. Women in this study recount racist and sexist experiences and describe their decision-making processes about how and whether to respond. There were specific reasons that shaped their responses and coping strategies, which highlight awareness and confidence in their individual abilities. The study’s findings also contribute to and expand Mellor’s taxonomy, specifically the incorporation of sexism as a system inherently interlocked with racism. Current literature on doctoral women of color mainly highlights their experience with racism; this gap reinforces our contribution to the literature, specifically, in illuminating predetermined societal roles and expectations for doctoral women of color in academia. Most importantly, our research highlights the assets and agency that doctoral women of color mobilize in the face of racism and sexism. These assets include long-term goals and aspirations, awareness of interlocking systems of oppression shaping their experience in academic environments, commitment to empowering their communities through education, and the support they find within their personal and academic networks. These assets and agency serve as foundation to challenge longstanding deficit perspectives on doctoral women of color in academic spaces and for faculty and program administrators to consider when developing support services. Impact on Society: Our findings encourage faculty, program administrators, and researchers to pay attention to racist and sexist issues as intersecting oppressions rather than distinct manifestations of prejudice to be confronted separately. Our findings also highlight the assets doctoral women of color rely on to overcome oppression and marginalization including their long-term goals and aspirations, awareness of interlocking systems of oppression shaping their experience in academic, commitment to empowering their communities through education, and the support they find within their personal and academic networks. Our hope is that this work encourages systems of higher education to create tangible ways to support doctoral women of color as they grapple with the multiple systems of domination that threaten their success in education, which is intertwined with success in other aspects of society. Future Research: Lastly, future research may explore how the matrix of domination mediates responses of doctoral women of color to racism and sexism. This philosophical inclination is linked to our decision to use Mellor’s taxonomy of coping styles as an introductory framework for our work in understanding navigational strategies. To that end, we argue that the taxonomy as it stands characterizes participants’ responses based on their immediate approach to incidents. This framing fails to include the timing someone might need to process and decide to how to respond. Mellor’s taxonomy positions participants who do not choose to respond immediately as compliant and acquiescent to racialized spaces and events. By doing so, we run the risk of oversimplifying and essentializing the complex processes individuals faced with racism and sexism undertake. At the same time, future research can examine the connection between responses or coping styles and ways that participants are internally transformed in their abilities and desires to address future incidents. There is an inordinate amount of focus on how individuals interact with oppressive incidents and yet very little is known about the ways that these interactions shape future responses. Additionally, the ways that doctoral women of color navigate situations outside the academy is not explored. For example, some of our participants shared how racist and sexist encounters empowered them or inspired them to address other incidents and to interact with family and community members.
 
Article
This article examines the questions of professional identity formulation and the possibilities of young scholars to reflect on these processes. Relying on insights of collaborative autoethnography, this article is based on a four year long process of exploring our ways of participating in the community of academic practice. This process is studied through discussing various metaphors related to academic life. In this article, metaphors are used as methodological tools to characterize and reflect on young scholars’ being and becoming in the academic world. First, we consider how different metaphors may help us to communicate with others, and then continue reflecting on the acquisition and participation in the communities within which we become scholars. Finally, we elaborate on two metaphors—methodological mess and endless scholarly immaturity—to navigate in the research community as (young) researchers.
 
Number of Doctoral Graduates by Year, Employer Types, and AACSB Orientation Codes
Doctoral Programs Rankings
Correlations
Article
Aim/Purpose: Although there are calls for better teaching training for accounting doctoral students, there are limited research findings on rankings of accounting doctoral programs based on the teaching effectiveness of their graduates. Background: There are two research objectives of this study. First, we rank the US accounting doctoral programs based on the student perceptions of the teaching effectiveness of their graduates using student ratings in ratemyprofessors.com. Second, we examine whether the ranking is associated with the presence of formal teaching training in the doctoral programs. Methodology: Overall quality ratings posted in ratemyprofessors.com are collected for 822 accounting professors who graduated in 2001-10 from 75 US accounting doctoral programs. The curriculum information is collected from the web pages of their doctoral programs. Contribution: This study fills two voids in the literature. Unlike previous accounting doctoral studies that rank programs based on the amount of research output of the graduates, this paper ranks programs based on the perceived teaching effectiveness of the graduates. It also adds insights into the importance of offering formal teaching training to doctoral students, which is called for by the AACSB. Findings: We find that the teaching ranking in this study is only mildly related to previous research rankings that were based on the research output of doctoral graduates. We also find that doctoral programs with higher rankings in this study are more likely to have formal teaching training in their programs. Recommendations for Practitioners: Given the findings in this study and the literature, accounting doctoral program administrators should incorporate or strengthen a formal teaching training component in doctoral programs. Recommendation for Researchers: There is a need for researchers on doctoral program evaluations to broaden their scope of assessment to include both teaching scholarship and research output of the doctoral graduates. Impact on Society: The findings in this study show that there is limited formal teaching training for accounting doctoral students, which is consistent with results in the literature of other fields. This study echoes the calls for more training on how to teach to improve the teaching ability of the graduates. When doctoral graduates become more effective professors, the learning outcome among college students can be improved as a result. Future Research: Future research can explore other better and more direct measures of teaching effectiveness in the evaluation of the accounting doctoral graduates and the accounting doctoral programs. The effect and the methods of more innovative pedagogical training on doctoral students can also be examined.
 
Article
Because of the important role that attitudes toward statistics and motivation have played in statis-tics courses, Ramirez, Emmioglu, and Schau (2010) recently conceptualized that Eccles and Wigfield’s (2002) Expectancy-Value Model (EVM) is applicable for students enrolled in statis-tics courses. However, to date, the applicability of the EVM for understanding students’ attitudes toward statistics has not been tested empirically. Thus, the purpose of this mixed research study was twofold: (a) to build on Ramirez et al.’s (2010) conceptualization by testing the EVM as a viable framework for understanding the statistics learning context; and (b) to examine the role that coping strategies play within the EVM framework by exploring interrelationships among atti-tudes, coping strategies, and statistics achievement. A qualitative-dominant mixed research de-sign was used. Specifically, 18 doctoral students who had recently taken a statistics class partici-pated in three in-depth focus groups. The ensuing qualitative data were supplemented by quantita-tive data via scores from a measure of coping strategies used in statistics courses that was admin-istered to all participants. The qualitative and quantitative data provided strong support for the EVM. Moreover, the emergence of five coping strategies themes suggested the appropriateness of expanding the EVM to a more solution-focused model, namely, the Expectancy-Value Coping Strategies (EVCS) model, wherein coping strategies mediate the relationship between statistics attitudes and statistics achievement. (10) (PDF) Relationships among Attitudes, Coping Strategies, and Achievement in Doctoral-Level Statistics Courses: A Mixed Research Study. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320655945_Relationships_among_Attitudes_Coping_Strategies_and_Achievement_in_Doctoral-Level_Statistics_Courses_A_Mixed_Research_Study [accessed Jan 28 2020].
 
Article
What predicts academic success during graduate school? What are the experiences of graduate students in terms of happiness, stress level, relationships in the program, and feelings of autonomy/competence? Responses from 3,311 graduate students from all psychological disciplines in the US and Canada were collected to answer questions involving (1) the relationship between student-level variables and department/school rankings (US News & World Report, Carnegie Foundation, National Research Council), (2) the determinants of important student-level variables such as number of publications, posters, and life satisfaction, and (3) examining the variables year-by-year in the program to explain changes over time at different points in the graduate career. Results reveal the degree to which certain aspects of higher ranked departments/schools impact student achievements such as number of publications and teaching experience. The results also reveal a unique year-by-year progression including a consistent decrease of happiness for every year in graduate school. While the findings were collected in psychology, the answers to these questions may resonate with graduate students across disciplines that are experiencing similar forces that characterize the graduate school experience. The results can also inform current conversations about the direction of higher education and the value of the graduate school experience.
 
Trends in Subject Matter Core Curriculum in Higher Education, EdD Programs Figure 2. Trends in Subject Matter Core Curriculum in Higher Education, PhD Programs
Prior Studies of Higher Education Doctoral Program Core CurricularContent
Type of Doctoral Programs Offered
Number of Credits Required, Subject Matter and Research Core Curriculum
Article
Currently the study of higher education has been referred to as a multidisciplinary field. Consensus is continuing to evolve regarding both what is considered the appropriate coursework and the foundational knowledgebase of this field. The study of higher education is maturing and has the potential to transition from being seen as a field to being respected as an academic discipline. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the status of the core curriculum in higher education doctoral programs from the perspective of program directors with programs that required the completion of standardized coursework prior to beginning a dissertation. We used online survey analytic techniques to query program directors about their EdD and PhD programs in higher education, credit hours, and curricular content. Our study confirms previous work finding that there is common agreement in the subject matter areas of organization, leadership, administration, and history. What our work adds is that there is a growing consensus among higher education doctoral programs about the position of higher education law and finance in the curricular core. In addition, we find there is a growing interest in public policy and community colleges over time, with a majority of EdD programs including instruction in these areas. Nevertheless, majoritarian agreement does not meet at a level wherein consensus can be inferred, especially within PhD programs where requirements are more varied across programs. In addition, while there is an increasing trend in the inclusion of multiculturalism in higher education doctoral programming, multiculturalism is not currently part of higher education's core. We conclude with research and practice implications for doctoral programs in higher education as a field of study.,.
 
Article
Increasingly doctoral candidates are attempting to complete a thesis by publication. This format varies between universities but there are common issues particularly in terms of progression, planning and timing. There are both advantages and difficulties involved in undertaking a thesis in this format. Our discussion of the supervisor/candidate partnership is framed within the requirements of a tight journal publishing agenda. Different universities have different requirements about the number of published papers to be included, the extent of candidate’s contribution as sole or joint author, the framing of the research as a unified thesis, presentation, and examination. The decision to attempt a thesis by publication must be taken early and data collection may need to be completed early. Articles then need to be written, polished, submitted, reviewed, revised and, hopefully, accepted. The thesis by publication is a juggling act between maintaining coherence and focusing on publishable segments. It is also a dialogue between supervisor and candidate involving the resolution of sometimes conflicting demands. Employing Cognitive Apprenticeship theory we present a shared autophenomenography that chronicles our doctoral journey that led to a successful thesis by publication. The findings are discussed under thematic headings: Logistics, Cognitive Apprenticeship in Action, and Building Trust.
 
An overview of the demographic information of the participants
Article
Aim/Purpose: The present qualitative study examined the perceptions of Iranian Ph.D. candidates toward the responsibilities and activities that supervisors should take during the dissertation writing. Background: Writing the dissertation is the main concern for Ph.D. candidates. In the view of doctorate students, supervisors are the main contributors to establishing a well-prepared dissertation. Methodology: To this end, 15 Ph.D. candidates who either graduated recently or were about to have their viva sessions participated in the study. The data were collected through phone interviews as well as narrative inquiry. The current study adopted the mentorship model as its theoretical framework. The framework is well suited because the supervisors as mentors and persons that are more competent transfer their experience and knowledge to the supervisees as less competent students. The multiple case study has been applied as the design of the current study. Geared toward the objectives of the qualitative study, the data analysis process embraced Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis approach. Contribution: The study has a number of theoretical and practical implications for both supervisors of Ph.D. students as well as teacher educators. Findings: The authors presented and discussed their perceived themes, and they consented to the following four major themes: practicality, professionalism, emotional engagement, and career traits. Recommendations for Practitioners: To ease the burden of writing a Ph.D. dissertation and to soothe the stress of Ph.D. candidates’ experience, supervisors should take the responsibility for their task of supervision by providing moment-by-moment care and guidance to their students. Recommendation for Researchers: The researchers utilized the two instruments of telephone interviews and narrations to collect data. It is suggested that other sources of data collection like observations and focus group interviews be included to gain further conceptions of the attendants. The researchers interviewed the dissertation writer in various majors; however, the topic was not questioned. It is recommended to evaluate the extent of the supervisor’s interest in the topic on the success rate of the project. Impact on Society: The present study revealed that students have different and varying needs and expectations of their supervisors. To meet these needs, supervisors should ask their students to submit a weekly report of their work as well as possible problems and questions. Future Research: The findings were based on the Ph.D. candidates’ perspectives; it is recommended that future research include the voices of the supervisors, too, particularly the supervisors of the same supervisees.
 
Article
Aim/Purpose: Adapting to the doctoral environment can be a difficult transition. This article emphasizes the importance of academic socialization as a means of integrating into the doctoral culture and persisting during the initial transition to doctoral study. Background: To address the problem of doctoral attrition, I share a personal narrative of problems and persistence during the first year of doctoral coursework. By sharing my initial resistance to social learning and eventual appreciation of merging the social into the academic, this narrative demonstrates the positive impact of socialization on my first year, thus promoting socialization as a means of acclimating to the doctoral environment. Methodology: This project utilizes the qualitative research method of autoethnography to examine my personal experiences adapting to the doctoral environment and connects those experiences to the larger higher education community. Contribution: Since people often connect more with stories than with numbers, my narrative offers struggling doctoral students an opportunity to see possible aspects of themselves in the lived experiences of someone who persisted, to see that they are not alone with their struggles and understand that supplementing their independent studies with social experiences could be a good way for them to persist in their own doctoral studies. Findings: Although I preferred independent work and significantly underestimated the value of social experiences when entering my first year of doctoral study, peer-to-peer interaction quickly became an essential element in my adaptation to the doctoral environment. Recommendations for Practitioners: Results of this study suggest that even when new doctoral students typically prefer solitary work, they should still seek out social learning experiences as a means of acclimating to the doctoral environment. University faculty and staff should incorporate social learning activities into the first year of their programs to promote socialization of their first-year doctoral students and increase their chances of persistence. Recommendation for Researchers: Researchers should use a variety of methods to examine the experiences of doctoral students and look at the data in new ways to better understand doctoral student needs and uncover new ideas to assist them. Impact on Society: By sharing storied experiences of struggles and success, I hope to inspire doctoral students to work with their peers and support one another as they try to persist. Future Research: More personal experiences of doctoral students are needed to give us a better understanding of the obstacles they encounter, so we can uncover additional strategies to combat those issues and improve persistence.
 
Participants' profiles
Summary of Findings
Article
Aim/Purpose: International PhD students suffer a lot of stress. However, many studies about international students focus on identifying the stressors these students experience rather than the stress-coping strategies, and those that explore international students’ coping behaviour often report maladjustments. Background: This study intended to fill the research gap by examining the strategies that Chinese students employed to psychologically adjust to their PhD study. Methodology: Narrative inquiry method was employed to give voice to the research participants. Six Chinese doctoral students in social sciences in Australian universities were purposefully sampled and interviewed three times during their candidature in order to gain an in-depth understanding of their lived experiences of stress-coping. Contribution: This paper provides positive stress-coping strategies used by six Chinese doctoral students, which can be used by international doctoral students or those who work with doctoral students from abroad to improve their psychological well-beings. Findings: These Chinese PhD students adopted positive stress-coping strategies of regulating their emotions and retaining their motivation. They adopted illusory and interpretive forms of secondary control by reframing realities to obtain psychological peace when faced with stress. The ways that Chinese PhD students handled stress suggest that the Chinese moral education and the characteristic motivation for learning attributed them with positive personal characteristics to battle the adverse conditions. Recommendations for Practitioners: Institutions/departments can initiate support groups for PhD students from the same disciplines where students can express their stress, seek assistance from senior doctoral students and exchange their strategies. Institutions/departments can also support international doctoral candidates by taking a more flexible approach to policies and procedures concerning doctoral students taking leave both in terms of when it is taken and the duration. Recommendation for Researchers: Researchers can focus on international doctoral students’ positive stress-coping experiences as well as negative experiences to present a balanced picture of the doctoral journey. Impact on Society: The findings from this research on doctoral students’ stress-coping can equip doctoral students with strategies to handle their psychological challenges, which in turn may enhance their overseas doctoral experiences, reduce the dropout rates, and raise awareness of supervisors and institutions about doctoral students’ psychological well-beings. Future Research: Future research can examine the stress-coping experiences of other international doctoral students, focusing not only from the individual psychological angle but from the academic and social perspectives.
 
Article
Studies of doctoral education have included an interest not only in processes, structures, and outcomes, but also in students' experiences. There are often useful recommendations for practice within individual examinations of the doctoral experience, yet there remains a need to strengthen the application of lessons from research to the behaviors of students and others engaged in the doctoral process. This paper is the first to synthesize research about doctoral education with the particular aim of informing practical strategies for multiple stakeholders. In this article, we summarize findings from a literature review of the scholarship about doctoral education from the past 15 years in a stage-based overview of the challenges of doctoral education. Our aim is to apply theory to practice through the systematic consideration of how research about doctoral education can best inform students and those who support them in the doctoral journey. We first present an overview of the major stages of doctoral education and related challenges identified in the research. We then consider key findings of that research to offer recommendations for doctoral students, faculty members, and administrators within and across stages.
 
Article
Doctoral student retention remains a challenge in higher education with an average attrition rate of 50%. This study focuses on analyzing pre-entry variables of admission for 81 doctoral students admitted to a doctoral program in psychology to determine whether significant associations existed between specific variables in the graduated and withdrawn groups in this cohort with over 48% Hispanic doctoral student representation. Using various quantitative analyses, findings demonstrate that the variables of GPA, ranking of ability, marital status, employment, and pre-requisites completed prior to entry into the doctoral program are each indicators of success for doctoral students. Specifically, a higher GPA, a higher ranking of ability, single marital status, part-time versus full-time employment, and the more pre-requisites completed before entering a doctoral program indicate a higher likelihood of doctoral program completion. Findings can be used as markers in the admission process to develop support and curricular interventions that will sustain doctoral students throughout the course of their doctoral studies.
 
Article
Literature supports that feedback is central to the learning process, and technology is central in the delivery of online education. Critical lines of research consistently identify two crucial vari-ables associated with effective online higher education: community and learning. Thus, the cur-rent study examined how audio and text feedback as compared written feedback can contribute to 125 online doctoral students' sense of community and learning. The findings show that doctoral students who received audio and text feedback had better perceptions of their instructor and cog-nitive development than those who received written feedback. The students who received audio and text feedback also had better learning outcomes. There was no difference in social presence between the two groups. These results are consistent with qualitative research on audio and text feedback and are explained by media theory.
 
Article
Among the typical dissertation research designs, one particular design that is slowly gaining acceptance is that of the Delphi Method. Using a panel of experts to achieve consensus in solving a problem, deciding the most appropriate course of action, or establishing causation where none previously existed, particularly in areas of business or education research, are uniquely ideal to employment of the design. This article reviews the origins of the method, provides detail on assembling the panel and executing the process, gives examples of conventional and modified Delphi designs, and summarizes the inherent advantages and disadvantages that the design brings. The article closes with some advice for those contemplating its use in their dissertations.
 
Multidimensional Model Comparison
DIF Statistics Summary
Article
Graduate advisors are reputed to be the most important persons that a graduate student will inter-act with during his/her graduate training. However, research indicates that some graduate students are not satisfied with the quality of their advising experiences. As a result, there has been national interest in understanding the nature and quality of graduate students' advising experiences. In this study the dimensional structure, psychometric properties, and differential item functioning of the Graduate Student Advising Survey that measured various aspects of the advising experiences of master's and doctoral students from across various disciplines were examined. Specifically, we applied a multidimensional Rasch Model for the purpose of exploring the dimensional structure and documenting the item quality, and we examined the probability of matched groups endorsing items differently. The results indicate that a six-factor model, as opposed to any other model, more appropriately explained the data. Based on the findings, the authors determined that the in-strument produces reliable measures that were relatively consistent across demographic groups.
 
Top 5 and Top 6 Baccalaureate Institutions of Black, U.S. Citizen PhDs: 1975-99 and 1995-99 (National Science Foundation, 2006)
Doctorates Awarded to Black U.S. Citizens by HBCUs: 1975-99, (National Science Foundation, 2006). Note: HBCU = historically black college or university.
Article
Aim/Purpose: This work contributes to the expansion of dialogue on doctoral education research in the United States, South Africa, and within the context of higher education internationalization. There is an emphasis on identifying and reinterpreting the doctoral process where racial and cultural aspects have been marginalized by way of institutional and systemic exclusion. An underlying premise is to support representation of marginalized doctoral student experiences to raise questions about participation and contributions within the dialogue on doctoral education research and practice. Background: Decades of reporting provide evidence of statistical portraits on degree at-tainment. Yet, some large-scale reporting does not include representation of historically marginalized doctoral students until the 1970s in the United States, and the 2000s for South Africa. With the growth of internationalization in higher education, examination of the impact of marginalization serves to support representation of diversity-focused discussions in the development of regional international education organizations, multilateral networks, and cross-collaborative teaching and research projects. Methodology: The philosophical approach for this conceptual paper embraces the Sankofa tradition as a process of going back to previous trends in literature on doctoral degree completion to identify opportunities for interrogation and reinterpretation of the doctoral experience. A dimensional framework of diversity and critical race theory, CRT, guides interpretation of racial and cultural perspectives focused on exclusion, structural diversity, and the psychological/behavioral experiences related to doctoral degree completion in the United States and South Africa. A purposeful sampling strategy is used to identify of literature sources where these dimensions are identified. Contribution: A major contribution of this work is the use of a dimensional diversity framework in doctoral education in both the US and South Africa. Findings: Interpretation of previous studies reveal critical insight for understanding the racial and cultural aspects of the doctoral process through comparison of perspectives on the historically marginalized doctoral experience in the United States and South Africa. They include consideration of the social developments leading to the current predicament of marginalization for students, awareness of the different reporting strategies of data, implementation of cultural philosophies to broaden the focus on how to understand student experiences, and an understanding of the differences in student-faculty relationships. Recommendations for Practitioners: Recommendations for practitioners highlight the application of cultural approaches in the development and implementation of practical strategies for supporting historically marginalized doctoral students. Recommendations for Researchers: Recommendations for researchers consider the application of cultural ap-proaches in the development of scholarship supporting historically marginal-ized doctoral students within a global context. Impact on Society: Intended outcomes for this work include increasing awareness about historically marginalized doctoral students. Recommendations are focused on improving their academic and career experiences in the United States and South Africa with global implications regarding their contributions. Future Research: Future research should consider the application of cultural philosophical ap-proaches when examining the historically marginalized doctoral experience within global, national, and local contexts.
 
List of participants
Article
Aim/Purpose: There is a significant amount of research on supervision, assessment, and socio-economic benefits in South Africa. However, there have been relatively few attempts to analyse the research proposal phase, which remains a critical part of doctoral education in South African. Background: As part of the broader transformation agenda in South Africa, universities are under pressure to produce vastly more high-level doctoral graduates. The aim is to allow South Africa to build its knowledge base so it can address the socio-economic problems inherited from the apartheid regime. In South Africa, quality in doctoral education is mainly understood and measured in terms of throughput rate. The danger is that greatly increasing the number of doctoral graduates will have a deleterious effect on the quality of the studies done. At present, the general view is that the research proposal phase is an administrative requirement or merely a planning phase in doctoral education. However, the research proposal phase is when doctoral students have their first opportunity to show their capacity for high-level intellectual engagement. This article explores what doctoral students and supervisors regard as necessary for a quality research proposal and how they view this phase of the doctoral journey. Methodology: This qualitative research used phenomenology to capture the lived experiences of participants. There were nineteen (19) participants from three South African universities. Eleven (11) of them were supervisors and eight (8) were doctoral students. Semi-structured interviews generated the data that were used to explore how participants experience and construct their understanding of quality at the research proposal phase. Contribution: The study makes three contributions: (i) it increases our understanding of the research proposal phase of doctoral education, (ii) it provides an alternative understanding of quality attributes: those centred on research learning. At present planning to meet administrative requirements dominates notions of quality; and (iii) it positions the doctoral research proposal at an intersection of different views of knowledge production: mode 1 that favours disciplinary knowledge production, mode 2 that favours cross disciplinary knowledge production and mode 3 that favours quadruple helix innovation systems of knowledge production. Findings: The findings indicate that participants understand quality in terms of planning for research, compliance with administrative requirements, confinement of research ideas within disciplinarity boundaries and the calibre of academic support. These understandings inform the common perceptions of the research proposal phase and its quality attributes. Participants’ narrow understanding of the research proposal phase and its quality attributes have, in turn, supported the view that writing of research proposals is a matter of technical compliance. This has deprived the research proposal phase from harnessing the full potential of research learning. It has also restricted the epistemological imagination of students, as econometrics parameters are being used to measure the production of knowledge. Recommendations for Practitioners: The possibility of enhancing the quality of the doctoral research proposal phase could be increased if those directing doctoral education were more aware (i) that the support programmes should encourage significant doctoral research; (ii) of the importance of having courses that are an integral part of the research proposal phase, which enable candidates to develop the ability to sustain a cohesive, coherent, critical and logical academic argument, and (iii) of the necessity for interdisciplinary research at the level of doctoral education. Recommendation for Researchers: Researchers from diverse social and cultural contexts need to improve the quality of their research proposals through engaging in research learning. This would require deeper understandings of social and cultural diversity of the context from which the research proposal phase is being experienced. This requires further research on understanding how students negotiate the transition from different social learning contexts into doctoral education. Impact on Society: Implementation of the recommendations would help to establish a robust standard of doctoral education, which could enhance the personal, professional, social, and economic growth of South African society. Future Research: Future research should explore different approaches to support services to identify the kind of support services that would enable doctoral students to engage in quality interdisciplinary research.
 
Article
Though rates of doctoral degree completion have increased, African American doctoral students continue to face issues related to race during their doctoral study. Scholars often point to the im-portance of the faculty and student relationship in doctoral student socialization and success while few explore how race plays a role in the relationship. We concur that the faculty and student rela-tionship is critical to doctoral student persistence and completion. However, given the growing diversity among doctoral students, we contend that it is equally important to consider the ways in which race impacts the doctoral experience. This paper presents qualitative data on the African American doctoral experience and is used to develop an advising framework, emphasizing the role of interest convergence as a feature of culturally receptive advising relationships. Findings indicate instances where students' personal interests or perspectives on the manifestation of race in doctoral education (i.e., personal and professional identity, scholarship, etc.) may be congruent (converge) or incongruent (diverge) with that of a faculty member, advisor, or the departmental or institutional environment. This study addresses how the relational aspects of context and race shape students' perceptions of interactions with faculty and the environment and has implications for advising and creating inclusive institutions.
 
Article
In South Africa four key policy discourses underpin doctoral education: growth, capacity, efficiency, and quality discourses. This article contributes to the discourse on quality by engaging with quality assurance from the perspective of the decision makers and implementers of macro policy (national), meso (institutional), and micro (faculty/departmental) levels. We explore the perceptions that members of higher degree committees in the field of Education have of the quality assurance of doctoral education. Our data are drawn from a national survey questionnaire completed by these respondents at all public South African institutions that offer a doctorate in Education. The insights gained reside within four categories: positionality, policy, programmes, and people (stakeholders). Thereafter, we problematised the main results using academic freedom in a mode 3 knowledge production environment as a lens, which revealed thought provoking directions for future research about doctoral education.
 
Racial demographics of participants
Article
Aim/Purpose: This paper examines the experiences of African American students in a doctor of education program at a comprehensive university in Southern California. Background: Qualitative case study methodology and critical race theory is used to highlight asset rather than deficit narratives of the participants, illuminating another aspect of commonly understood experiences for underrepresented students in education. Methodology: Qualitative case study methodology was used for a sample of 14 African American doctoral students in the Southern California area. Critical race theory provided a framework through which to support data analysis and subsequent findings. Contribution: The original contribution of this paper is the asset-narrative of African American doctoral students at an institution that is not research-driven. Findings: Findings assert that (1) asset narratives of African American students need to be highlighted, (2) action-research as an option for dissertation completion is important for Ed.D. programs, and (3) racial identity of African Americans is complex, therefore broader understandings of black identity are needed, and must be coupled with anti-deficit ideology. Recommendations for Practitioners: Recommendations for practitioners include expanding understandings of African American identity coupled with anti-deficit ideology to enhance student interactions with both faculty and peers throughout doctoral education. Recommendation for Researchers: It is suggested that future research continue to focus on doctoral student experiences in institutions that are not research intensive. Impact on Society: This research provides an original contribution by furthering understandings of the complexity of the African American experience with identity, research, and doctoral education experiences. Future Research: Future research should focus on other underrepresented populations in doctoral education at universities that are not research-intensive.
 
Article
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) provide an educational pathway for many Black students, particularly women who seek graduate degrees. Despite the positive presence of HBCUs in the African American community, the academic training of students who graduate from HBCUs may be perceived as insufficient by Predominantly White Graduate Institutions (PWIs). As a result, African American students who are not well integrated into their respective departmental communities and cultures at PWIs are likely to leave graduate school. Research has also indicated that the first two years at a PWI is crucial for students of color. This study exam-ines how students make the two-year transition from HBCU to majority institutions and what im-pact this transition has on their persistence and commitment to their discipline.
 
Article
Aim/Purpose: It aimed at investigating the motives and challenges of 15 mature-aged doctoral students at two education faculties in Australian and Asian contexts. Background: This cross-border research collaboration investigated the first international higher-research forum between two education faculties in Hong Kong and Australia. Methodology: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to explore partic-ipants’ self-reported experiences concerning the motivations and challeng-es of 15 mature-aged doctoral students. Contribution: The findings have important implications for global doctoral program de-velopment, international exchange forum organizations, intercultural capaci-ty building, academic enhancement and cross-border research collabora-tion. Findings: From interview data four overarching themes emerged: Taking calculated risks, Determination to succeed, Financial stress, and Balancing life and research. Recommendations for Practitioners: Recommendations include mentoring schemes, greater support for isolated students, and more opportunities for students to complete their PhD by publication. Recommendation for Researchers: More research is needed to investigate mature-aged students’ motives for embarking on study in diverse cultural contexts among different ethnic groups. Impact on Society: This study recognized the merits and potentials of mature students whose research contributes to their societies. Future Research: Future research directions include using multiple case study design, thus exploring diverse aspects of the existing sample in greater depth, as well as tapping into a new sample of students at risk of attrition at both faculties.
 
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