The impact of selective factors related to completing the Doctor of Arts degree at Middle Tennessee State University

Rodney Dwayne Bennett, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to provide a profile of students who were and were not able to successfully complete all degree requirements for the Doctor of Arts program at Middle Tennessee State University from 1990 through 1995. Differences, as well as similarities, between degreed and non-degreed students were identified in regard to the following areas: (a) demographics; (b) attitudes and perceptions of the program in the area of curriculum, administration, and interaction with faculty, advisors, and committee members; and (c) specific factors impacting the student's current status of either degreed or non-degreed.^ The study found that the profile of a degreed DA student at MTSU was a white married male, about 35 years old, who was a senior college faculty member earning between $30,000 and \$35,000 per year. The profile of a non-degreed DA student was also a white married male, about 36 years old, who was not a faculty member and made less than $30,000 per year.^ The study found that degreed students consistently reported a favorable attitude in all areas of subjective factors tested in this study. Non-degreed students did not provide such a favorable response in the same areas. The study found no significant difference between degreed and non-degreed students as it related to gender and current professional position at the time of the study.^ However, a significant difference was identified between degreed and non-degreed students when they were compared on the basis of professional position at the time of admittance into the program. Additionally, the study found significance between the salary level of degreed and non-degreed students.^ The study concluded that the greatest barriers to completing the DA program were: (a) interference with regular jobs, 33%; (b) lost interest in the program, 27%; and (c) acquired a job in which the degree was not necessary, 27%. Surprisingly, the study found that only 3% of those students leaving the DA program cited problems with the dissertation as a factor. Finally, the study concluded that more than 88% of the students participating in the study dropped out of the DA program prior to completing all course work requirements. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Rodney Dwayne Bennett, "The impact of selective factors related to completing the Doctor of Arts degree at Middle Tennessee State University" (1996). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9806591.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI9806591

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