Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Improving the Resilience of Online and At-Risk Doctoral Students: Transition Management and Occupational Socialization Structures
by Galindo, Stephanie D., Ed.D., Aspen University, 2016, 445; 10757180
Abstract (Summary)

Doctoral student attrition was calculated at approximately 50% or greater for nearly 50 years. Exceptionally high attrition in the social sciences, humanities, and online programs was identified. The cost to students, institutions and society was of significant concern. Most students were found capable of degree completion. The median timeframe for completion was approximately 7.9 -12.7 years. Long-term student persistence was relevant to theories of social exchange, person-organization fit, positive psychology, self-determination, suicide theory, organizational support, connectivism, persistence, failure, choice and goal theory, and the theory of involvement. Critically, higher education was viewed as an employment strategy. Students continually analyze the cost benefit of attendance, their perception of time to reward, and the reliability of the reward to provide value. The institution was considered accountable for student resilience. Program alignment with career opportunities, proactive transition management, sustainable interventions, non-academic mentoring, and occupational socialization were essential to persistence. Missing were parameters for a university-wide infrastructure to manage supporting activities, particularly partnerships with industry to facilitate long-term occupational socialization through mentoring. Corporate learning partnerships and human capital management strategies were briefly explored. A university-based doctoral student support center was structured using management and value-system models. Leadership, accountability, costs, and funding were considered in system building. Mixed-method interviews of 75-120 minutes were conducted with 15 managers with relevant experience. Approaches to partners and providing ROI required understanding organizational values and culture. Long-term partnerships supporting part-time online doctoral students appeared sustainable, and stable protocol for partnership management was identified.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dunn, Donald J
Commitee: Bretschneider, Pamela J, LaRue, Bruce
School: Aspen University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Curriculum development, Higher education
Keywords: Career, Mentoring, Partnership, Persistence, Retention, Support
Publication Number: 10757180
ISBN: 978-0-355-58488-2
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