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The Ph.D. Completion Project: Overview and Research Agenda CGS Annual Meeting December 10, 2004 Presenter: Daniel Denecke Director, Best Practices Council.

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Presentation on theme: "The Ph.D. Completion Project: Overview and Research Agenda CGS Annual Meeting December 10, 2004 Presenter: Daniel Denecke Director, Best Practices Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Ph.D. Completion Project: Overview and Research Agenda CGS Annual Meeting December 10, 2004 Presenter: Daniel Denecke Director, Best Practices Council of Graduate Schools

2 CGS Ph.D. Completion Project Pfizer – 10 institutions, SEM fields Ford Foundation – additional 5 institutions, Social Sciences and Humanities

3 Project Goals To document and promulgate those changes in institutional policies, practices and procedures that will enable graduate schools to transform the record of graduate programs in successfully graduating those students they admit To transform the national understanding of achievable Ph.D. completion rates To inform public policy on issues affecting doctoral attrition and completion

4 Project Activities (I) Field 15 pilot designed experiments in SEM fields, social sciences, humanities Award up to $100,000 per Research Partner Generate and test strategic interventions Provide a real-time interactive forum on what is working and what is not

5 Project Activities (II) Involve all institutions who submitted proposals as Project Partners Convene an Advisory Board Document findings in a Best Practices monograph on strategies for increasing Ph.D. completion, particularly among minorities and women

6 Research Partner Requirements 5 programs in SEM fields (physical sciences & mathematics, engineering, and life sciences) AND 3 programs in social sciences and humanities 10-year Completion Data for selected programs 5-contiguous-year Attrition Data for those programs

7 Intervention Areas A minimum of 6 interventions in at least 3 of the following areas: Selection/Admissions Mentoring Program Environment Financial Support Processes/Procedures Research Mode of Field

8 CGS Ph.D. Completion Project Research Partners Arizona State University University of California-Los Angeles University of Cincinnati Cornell University Duke University University of Florida University of Georgia Howard University University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign University of Maryland – Baltimore County University of Michigan University of Missouri – Columbia North Carolina State University University of Notre Dame University of Louisville University of Montreal University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Princeton University Purdue University Washington University– St. Louis Yale University

9 CGS Ph.D. Completion Project Project Partners University of California – Berkeley University of Colorado-Boulder Florida State University Fordham University George Washington Univ. University of Iowa Louisiana State University Marquette University McGill University University of Melbourne Michigan State University University of Minnesota New Mexico State University New York University North Dakota State University Pennsylvania State University University of Puerto Rico University of Rhode Island Rutgers – State University of New Jersey Southern Illinois University – Carbondale Syracuse University

10 Research Goals: What We Want to Know Completion & attrition rates by program/university in 5 broad field areas: LS, PS&M, Engin, SS, and Hum Attrition patterns by program/university General TTW and TTC patterns Completion rates by university by demographic group (gender, race/ethnicity, citizenship) Institutional/departmental causes of Ph.D. attrition Impact of interventions on Ph.D. completion The varieties of attrition Upper limits of completion rates by program and broad field area

11 Challenges No national consensus on how to measure attrition and completion National databases not adequately prepared to process existing data Significant variation in attrition/completion within as well as across disciplines Program resistance to transparency (warts and all)

12 Definition Attrition = that proportion of the entering cohort into a doctoral degree program that does not complete the graduate program undertaken. --National Science Foundation, Workshop, 1998

13 Definition #2 Cohort = all those who first enroll in a degree program on a given date. National Research Council, Path to the Ph.D., 1996

14 Complexities Defining the Cohort First post-baccalaureate year When officially admitted to candidacy Upon completion of a required masters Defining non-completion Transfer and stop-out Defining good and bad attrition

15 Research Tools Completion Template Attrition Template Pre-project Assessment Survey (departmental characteristics & existing practices) Exit Survey Template Project Reports (annual written and semi- annual oral presentations)

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17 Ph.D. Completion Project Implementation Timeline Proposals Due, September 17 Proposal Review, October Awards Announced, November 15 Pre-project assessments, January 2005 Submit Baseline Data, Implement Exit Interviews & Formative Assessment, March 2005

18 Ph.D. Completion Project Website Also accessible from CGS Website home page


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