A Study of Attrition Factors In the Doctoral Programs In Educaitonal Administration (Dropouts)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

Arthur R. Southerland

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


The purpose of this study was to determine those differences in student characteristics of graduates and dropouts of doctoral programs with emphasis in educational administration. In addition, the differences between graduate and dropout perceptions related to their doctoral program were investigated. The data for student characteristics were obtained from student files for 144 graduates and 63 dropouts who had been enrolled in a doctoral program with emphasis in educational administration during the years of 1975 to 1982. All subjects were mailed a questionnaire to obtain measurement of the students' perceptions of their doctoral program. From the total of 207 questionnaires mailed, 25 were returned as undeliverable and 131 were returned completed, for an adjusted return rate of 72%. The results of the study indicate that dropouts and graduates had significant differences on the student characteristics of: (a) number of semesters in course work and (b) completion of specific program requirement (i.e., qualifying examination, comprehensive examination, and dissertation proposal defense). It was additionally found that significant differences existed between the students' perceptions concerning the items relating to student and student/faculty relationships during their doctoral program. It was found that graduates placed a higher rating to the value of and extent of student to student and student to faculty relationships. Graduates were also found to have more terms of full-time course work and a higher degree of perceived stress associated with required examinations during their program.