This study explored students’ perceptions of developing cohort cohesiveness while progressing through a doctoral level interprofessional health administration program. Drawing upon Tuckman and Jenson’s Theory of Group Development (1977), this study specifically emphasized the group development process and its inherent relationship to achieve cohesion within a group. To better understand this process, an in-depth qualitative research design, using semi-structured interviews, was implemented to illustrate the experiences of an interprofessional group of students enrolled in a distance learning program that utilized a closed cohort model. Emerging from the data was the core category of shared experiences, supported by main categories of collegiate unity, required interactions, group maturation, and interprofessional appreciation. The significance of interaction between students and faculty emerged as fundamental and inseparable to students’ achievement of cohort cohesion. The data suggest the value of group development within these types of programs as well as how cohesive groups enhance the learning experience and contribute to student success. Results of this study have implications for the promotion of educational programs to foster group development within distance learning cohorts. Attention should be given to a broad base of understanding by faculty of the development of cohort cohesion and the value of cohesion in higher-level education. Findings from this study support the notion of faculty involvement in cohort cohesion and the importance of helping students make connections as a group.
|Commitee:||Haney, Jude, Roberts, Jalynn, Tillman, Ken|
|School:||William Carey University|
|School Location:||United States -- Mississippi|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational psychology, Health education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Cohesion, Distance learning, Doctoral level, Group development, Interprofessional, Online education|
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