Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research

Volume 17 of the series Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research pp 349-380

Reexamining Doctoral Student Socialization and Professional Development: Moving Beyond the Congruence and Assimilation Orientation

  • James Soto AntonyAffiliated withUniversity of Washington

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In the spring of 2000, hundreds of national leaders in graduate education from colleges and universities around the nation gathered to talk about ways of reforming doctoral training in the arts and sciences (Re-envisioning the Ph.D. Conference, Seattle, 2000). The meeting, sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts, underscored a growing crisis in American doctoral education. Up until recently, traditional disciplinary Ph.D. programs were assumed to be training students to enter the professorate. For a variety of reasons, the availability of academic posts in many fields has declined in recent years (Chronicle of Higher Education, 1999) and a larger percentage of doctoral degree recipients have, as a result, begun to look for employment in sectors outside of academe (Sanderson & Dugoni, 1997). The reduced availability of academic posts in many fields, along with the increased migration of a variety of doctoral degree recipients to the private sector, has forced many doctoral training programs to consider reforming the structure and outcomes of doctoral training.