Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 4 Doctoral attrition rates, etc.

Ok it is only day 4 and here I am talking about doctoral attrition rates! Let me explain...I have decided to pursue the idea of doctoral attrition as the subject of my paper for the orientation course. I'm mentioning this because, although I have only just started reading on the subject, some of this information may be of interest to my peers in the program.
  • Only about 50% of those accepted into doctoral programs finish.
  • Exact statistics are difficult to find becuase many universities do not publish records related to students who withdraw from their programs.
  • Women and minorities are more likely to withdraw from a doctoral program than men.
  • The majority of those that withdraw do so at the dissertation stage, not at the course phase.
  • Completion rates are higher in the sciences than in the humanities.
  • It can take some students years to recover their confidence after making the decision to withdraw from doctoral studies.
  • The literature points out that in the past the view was that attrition in higher level degrees was to be expected but now many universities are doing more to manage the relationships with students and keep them on track with their programs via different means.
The point that really resonates with me is that most students do fine in their courses but it is the disseration stage when they are most in danger of leaving their programs. Knowing that might help us be prepared to deal with the frustrations at that stage of the program. I think we are all off to a good start in terms of forming our own support community, starting our relationships with our supervisors and with the GDER office. All three of these will be critical to our persistence in the next 4 plus years.

And now for something completely different! For the Educational Technology course, I am going to pursue the topic of blended learning. Specifically, educational technology is transforming what can be done in the classroom and outside of it. My paper will contain a literature review to summarize the state of the field and document current best practices. I will give this more thought tonight and try to think of a research question to guide the paper.

What a beautiful, sunny evening and, bonus, it is almost Friday!


No comments:

Post a Comment