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Increasing Doctoral Student Persistence: Strategies for Fostering Community

Increasing Doctoral Student Persistence: Strategies for Fostering Community

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Increasing Doctoral Student Persistence: Strategies for Fostering Community

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  1. Increasing Doctoral Student Persistence: Strategies for Fostering Community Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw, LPC, Ed.D. Lucinda S. Spaulding, Ph.D. School of Education Liberty University

  2. About Us Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw • B.S. in Elementary Education; M.A. in Community Counseling; Ed.D. in Distance Education • Chair of Doctoral Research & Assistant Professor, Educational Technology and School Counseling at Liberty University Lucinda S. Spaulding • B.S. in Elementary Education; M.Ed. in Special Education; Ph.D. in Special Education & Educational Psychology • Assistant Professor, Instructional Design and Graduate Research at Liberty University

  3. Purpose • Discuss findings of study examining factors associated with doctoral persistence. • Present 5 practical strategies for improving doctoral persistence. • Model specific practices that can improve doctoral programs. • Discuss technologies and practices that can be used to improve programs.

  4. Increasing Doctoral Student Persistence: Strategies for Fostering Community • Introduction • Factors Related to Persistence and Attrition • How to Increase Persistence • Tools for Increasing Persistence • Reflection and Discussion • Conclusion

  5. Four Factors of Persistence • Personal Attributes • Social integration into the university • Program structure • Program resources and services

  6. Perceived Sense of Community

  7. Perceived Sense of Community • In traditional settings, doctoral attrition rates are 40 – 60% • In online settings, the attrition rate is 10 – 50% higher among doctoral students. • A strong sense of community in either setting can lead to higher levels of persistence among doctoral students.

  8. Improving Community (Garrison et al., 2000, p. 89).

  9. Using Social Presence To Increase Persistence • Leverage technology • Wikis • FaceBook • Twitter • LinkedIn • Ning • Adopt a cohort model

  10. Using Cognitive Presence to Increase Persistence • Modeling • Critical Thinking • Reflective Processes • Organization • Summation techniques • Goal setting • Frameworks (templates)

  11. Using Teaching Presence to Increase Persistence • Communicate, communicate, communicate • Provide timely feedback that is personable, yet academically challenging • E-conferencing systems for check-ins and manuscript reviews • Audio feedback

  12. Increasing Persistence • Opportunities to develop relationships with faculty. • Peer relationships and connectedness • Cohort models • Opportunities for critical reflection and evaluation. • Course opportunities with relevant content

  13. Fostering community through practices will likely increase persistence

  14. Fostering Community with Technology • SharePoint • Administration • Candidate • Committee • E-Conferencing • Skype • Illuminate • Audio • Audacity

  15. The Dissertation Portal

  16. The Administration Portal Communication Records Forms and Templates Master Lists’

  17. My Dissertation Portal Task List Document Libraries Discussion Forum

  18. The Committee Portal Document Libraries Discussion Forum

  19. Reflection & Conclusion Fostering community in a doctoral program through practices is likely to lead to persistence. This presentation will assist faculty and administrators in identifying how they can encourage doctoral persistence and completion through practices that increase community.

  20. References Brandes, L. (2006). Graduate student centers: Building community and involving students. New Directions for Student Services, 115, 85-99. Carr, S. (2000). As distance education comes of age, the challenge is keeping the students. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 46(23), A39-A41. Galbraith, M. W. (2003). The adult education professor as mentor: A means to enhance teaching and learning. Perspectives: The New York .Journal of Adult Learning, 1(1), 9-20. Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 1-24. Holsinger, J. W. (2008), Situational leadership applied to the dissertation process. Anatomical Sciences Education, 1(5), 194–198. doi: 10.1002/ase.37 Norris, C. J., & Barnett, B. (1994). Cultivating a new leadership paradigm: From cohorts to communities. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the University Council of Educational Administration, Philadelphia, PA, October 1994.(ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.ED387877) Rockinson-Szapkiw, A., J., & Spaulding, L. S. (2011, under review). Factors that contribute to the successful completion of educational doctorates: How the universities can increase completion rates. The Review of Higher Education. Rovai, A. P. (2002). Sense of community, perceived cognitive learning and persistence in asynchronous learning networks. Internet and Higher Education, 5(4), 319-332. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ663074) (doi:10.1016/S1096-7516(02)00130-6) Seagram B., Gould J.& Pyke S. (1998) An investigation of gender and other variables on time to completion of doctoral degrees. Research in Higher Education 39 (3), 319–335. Smallwood, S. (2004). Doctor dropout. The Chronicle of Higher Education,50(2) 120-129. Terrell, S. R., Snyder, M. M., & Dringus, L. P. (2009). The development, validation, and application of the Doctoral Student Connectedness Scale. Higher Education and the Internet,12(2), 112-116. Retrieved from http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1096751609000244 Wighting, M., Nisbet, D., & Spaulding, L. S. (2009). Relationships between sense of community and academic achievement: A comparison among high school students. The International Journal of the Humanities, 7(3), 63-72.

  21. Contact Us Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw aszapkiw@liberty.edu www.amanda.szapkiw.com http://works.bepress.com/amanda_rockinson_szapkiw/ Lucinda Spaulding lsspaulding@liberty.edu http://works.bepress.com/lucinda_spaulding/