Approximately 50% of doctoral students in social science, humanities, and educational doctoral programs fail to earn their Ph.D. This number is 10% to 15% higher for students enrolled in online or limited-residency programs. Using in-depth interviews and qualitative data analysis techniques, this grounded-theory study examined participants’ recollections of their experience as students in a limited-residency doctoral program and their reasons for withdrawal while working on their dissertation. The study was guided by the central question “What is the nature of the participants’ experiences of doctoral attrition in a limited-residency doctoral program?” The resultant theory clarified relationships between attrition and a support issues (i.e., advisor support, dissertation process support and program office support). The theoretical model helps identify steps faculty and administration may take in order to reduce high levels of attrition. Recommendations for effective doctoral education practices from existing literature are supported in the findings of this study.
Doctoral Study, Dissertation, Attrition, Limited-Residency, Qualitative Research, Grounded Theory, Persistence
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Recommended APA Citation
Kennedy, D. H., Terrell, S. R., & Lohle, M. (2015). A Grounded Theory of Persistence in a Limited-Residency Doctoral Program. The Qualitative Report, 20(3), 215-230. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol20/iss3/5