Baker, structures of success in doctoral education.

Baker, V. L.,
& Pifer, M. J. (2011). The role of relationships in the
transition from doctoral student to independent scholar. Studies in
Continuing Education, 33(1), 5-17.

journal reports that minimal research and practice have focused exclusively on
stage 2 of the doctoral student experience – the critical transition from
dependence to independence. It is important for researchers; faculty and
administrators understand the stages that a student must travel through in
order to be an independent writer. Stage one can be best described as the
undergraduate experience for the student in simpler terms. Stage two can be
described as consisting of not only passing coursework and candidacy exams but
also beginning the doctoral dissertation proposal process. The goal of the
article is to determine the role of relationships in the identity development
process. Theoretic context, which brought together sociocultural viewpoints of
learning and progressive systems, reveal an association between learning and
relationships. Overall the focus is on a doctoral students uniqueness and shift
towards independence. Prior research has been conducted for stage 1 and 3
however stage 2 the transition from dependence to independence has gained
little research.

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study was conducted in order to give understanding of what role is played with
a student during the dependence to independence stage. The population studied
was 31 doctoral students in business and higher education. The study consisted
of both male and female. The researchers concluded that there is an importance
of relationships during stage 2 and that if the is not present there can be
negative and positive effects in reference to transitioning to independent
scholars. Additional research is recommended amongst developmental networks.
The information in the study of which was important to recall was the topics
that were focused on in the interview about the student which was key experiences, challenges, goals for
performance/advancement, key relationships, types of support present/absent,
and identity (personal and professional). The topics were all beneficial to
truly understand the doctoral student. There were no specific statements made that
should be retained however this journal entry does make one question the
difficulty in forming relationships in the online learning environment.

Gardner, S. K.
(2009). Conceptualizing Success in Doctoral Education: Perspectives of Faculty
in Seven Disciplines. The Review of Higher Education, 32(3),

The study focused on the analysis of cultural structures
of success in doctoral education. The word success is widely used in higher
education to better understand students as a whole. This analysis primarily
focused on comprehending the concept of success as outlined by 38 faculty
members. Students in the doctoral programs are studied based on indicators of
their success such as coursework, GPA, retention, degree achievement, and
competencies. Findings showed that it was apparent that disciplinary culture as
well as perspective significantly influenced the staff member’s thoughts in
reference to success in doctoral education. In order for students to be
successful the faculty as well as advising for students needs to be centered
around a culture of unity, mutual respect, and caring individuals. The study
was ultimately conducted to advance the examination of cultural constructions
of success. The study was found to have four restrictions, which primarily
focused on some of the faculty’s roles.

Examples of the presented restrictions are the
status of the faculty member and departmental affiliations. The population reviewed
was 38 faculty members from 7 disciplines at a research extensive institution.
The study did advance the examination of cultural construction of success in reference
to doctoral education. The information about the study that can be seen as
unique or rather important to recall is the indicators of success such as GPA
and retention this provides understanding of both the student as well as the professor.
This may help with understanding if assignments are rigorous enough pushing all
students to their highest potential. This may also determine if the professor
may need to overextend themselves to make sure that student is continuously
engaged and ready to be successful with both his or her drive to succeed as
well as the guidance of the professor or advisor. In this particular study
there was no information wished to retain.  


Smith, A. E.,
& Haymaker, D. M. (2014). Knowing, Doing, and Becoming:
Professional Identity Construction Among Public Affairs Doctoral Students. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 20(4), 545-564.


journal assesses socialization and professional identity construction methods amongst doctoral students running
public affairs research. Public administration researchers have studied how
doctoral students in public affairs are taught to become scholars. The analysis
provides awareness between the interactions of student and faculty. The focus
was on whether the interactions between the two contribute to development and
students drive. The study focused on doctoral student data in several
disciplines whose research is solely based in public affairs. The overall
reason for the study was to have a true understanding of as to how doctoral
students advance their research skilled uniqueness.

Findings suggested that socialization as
well as identity construction plays a big role in the doctoral students
success. The development of a doctoral student having an identity focuses on
the student transitioning from being an absorber of knowledge to a producer of
knowledge. The study was conducted to provide awareness on the integrations
with student and faculty. The population is based on interviews with 59
doctoral students. The study focused on individuals from many different
disciplines. The researcher concluded that there are benefits for students when
supported with positive relationships with staff. Information about being a
researcher and developing ones identity was also discussed. The information believed
to be unique in the study was the fact that having support from faculty ensures
that students will obtain constant, sustained, and extensive support. The
statements that should be retained from this journal focuses on the importance
of valuing mentoring with the doctoral student.