The Chronicle of Higher Education reports the release of a new Council of Graduate Schools report that suggests ways in which universities could reduce the number of graduate students who do not complete their doctoral programs. First, the CGS says, academic institutions should improve advising and mentorship in PhD programs. The Council applauds the "colleague circles" at the University of Missouri, and the staff-student "landmark conferences" that Ohio State University holds each year. Support and supervision are especially important during a degree candidate's dissertation phase, the Chronicle says. The CGS also advises that universities consider increasing financial support for their graduate students, according to the Chronicle. The article reports that doctoral candidates' "average time-to-degree is still a formidable 7.7 years — and that, of course, is for the students who manage to finish at all. By some estimates, more than 30 percent of the students who enter American doctoral programs walk away empty-handed." The full CGS report can be purchased at their Web site.
Reinforcing PhD Candidate Retention
Apr 02, 2010