Preventing the Onset of PhD Attrition: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective
Houston, Steven Jacob
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The purpose of this study is to take a close examination of the PhD experience through a self-determination theory lens, focusing on former PhD students from the field of education. Specifically, this study will examine how and why the characteristics of the PhD experience such as the structure of PhD programs (e.g., coursework requirements, degree requirements, faculty advisor selection process, etc.) may have helped or did not help students to feel competent, autonomy, and related while they were students. This study will also examine the degree to which graduate faculty advisors may have or did not help PhD students to feel competent, autonomy, and related during their experience. This study will also examine if participant's report having any prior exposure to PhD programs before entering their respective graduate program (e.g., prior interactions with graduate faculty members, students, or staff, orientation to the culture and structure of programs, having attended any prior academic conferences, taken any graduate level courses, etc.). This study will investigate the extent to which this prior exposure may have helped students to feel competent, autonomy, and related during their PhD experience. Overall, this study proposes to take a deeper look into the experience of being a PhD student, and specifically examines how specific elements of the experience might motivate and or discourage students from successfully completing their degree (N = 29).
- Education - Seattle