Research in Higher Education

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 319–335 | Cite as

AN INVESTIGATION OF GENDER AND OTHER VARIABLES ON TIME TO COMPLETION OF DOCTORAL DEGREES

  • Belinda Crawford Seagram
  • Judy Gould
  • Sandra W. Pyke
Article

Abstract

A sample of factors presumed relevant to thetime required to complete doctoral degrees (TTC) wasexplored in a survey of 154 recent graduates of NaturalScience, Social Science, and Humanities doctoral programs at York University. In addition to thevariables of gender and discipline, characteristics ofthe supervisory relationship, as well as the graduate'sfinancial situation and enrollment status, were investigated. On average, respondents took5.94 years to complete their degrees with students inthe Natural Sciences the fastest completers. Althoughthere were no significant gender differences in TTC, male graduates were more satisfied withtheir doctoral education overall and the quality ofsupervision they received (from both their supervisorsand their supervisory committees) than were females. Males were also more likely to collaborate withtheir supervisors in the preparation of research papers.With respect to financial support, respondents who wereslower completers reported receiving more years of teaching assistantships. Additionally,respondents from the Natural Sciences reported receivingmore years of teaching assistantships and researchassistantships than respondents from the other disciplines. A multiple regression analysisrevealed that the following combination of variablesaccounted for 30% of the variance in TTC: beginning thedissertation research early in the program, remaining with the original topic and supervisor, meetingfrequently with supervisor, and collaborating withsupervisor on conference papers.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Aisenberg, N., and Harrington, M. (1988). Women of Academe. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  2. Abedi, J., and Benkin, E. (1987). The effects of students' academic, financial, and demographic variables on time to the doctorate. Research in Higher Education27: 3-14.Google Scholar
  3. Baird, L. L. (1990). Disciplines and doctorates: The relationships between program characteristics and the duration of doctoral study. Research In Higher Education31: 369-385.Google Scholar
  4. Bargar, R. R., and Mayo-Chamberlain, J. (1983). Advisor and advisee issues in doctoral education. Journal of Higher Education54: 408-432.Google Scholar
  5. Belenky, M. F., Clinchy, B., McV., Goldberger, N. R., and Tarule, J. M. (1986). Women's Ways of Knowing. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  6. Berg, H. M., and Ferber, M. A. (1983). Men and women graduate students: Who succeeds and why? Journal of Higher Education54: 629-648.Google Scholar
  7. Bowen, W., and Rudenstine, N. (1992). In Pursuit of the Ph.D.Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Braun, R. (1990). The downside of mentoring. In L. B. Welch (ed.), Women in Higher Education: Changes and Challenges(pp. 191-198). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  9. Brooks, L., and Perot, H. (1991). Reporting sexual harassment: Exploring a predictive model. Psychology of Women Quarterly15: 31-42.Google Scholar
  10. Butcher, R. (1992). Graduate student associations and graduation rates: The work of the GSA at the University of Western Ontario. In C. Filteau (ed.), Graduate Graduation Rates and Time to Completion: Colloquium Proceedings. (pp. 50-65). Toronto: Council of Ontario Universities.Google Scholar
  11. Cammaert, L. P. (1985). How widespread is sexual harassment on campus? International Journal of Women Studies8: 388-397.Google Scholar
  12. Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (1994). Statistical Report 1994. Ottawa, ON: Author.Google Scholar
  13. Caplan, P. J. (1993). Lifting a Ton of Feathers: A Woman's Guide to Surviving in the Academic World. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  14. The Chilly Climate Collective (eds.) (1995). Breaking Anonymity: The Chilly Climate for Women Faculty. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Connell, R. W. (1985). How to survive a Ph.D. Vestes2: 38-41.Google Scholar
  16. Dagg, A. I., and Thompson, P. J. (1988). MisEducation: Women and Canadian Universities. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.Google Scholar
  17. Duggan, J. J. (1989). Time to the doctoral degree and success rates: The Berkeley experience. Unpublished data, University of California at Berkeley.Google Scholar
  18. Evangelauf, J. (1989, March 15). Lengthening of time to earn a doctorate causes concern. Chronicle of Higher Education, 13-14.Google Scholar
  19. Filteau, C. (ed.) (1992). Graduate Graduation Rates and Time-to-Completion: Colloquium Proceedings. Toronto: Council of Ontario Universities.Google Scholar
  20. Fletcher, J., and Stren, R. (1992). Discussion of the factors influencing time to completion in graduate programs: Student views. In C. Filteau (ed.), Graduate Graduation Rates and Time to Completion: Colloquium Proceedings(pp. 17-48). Toronto: Council of Ontario Universities.Google Scholar
  21. Freeman, D. J., and Loadman, W. E. (1985). Advice to doctoral guidance committees from alumni at two universities. Research in Higher Education22: 335-346.Google Scholar
  22. Girves, J. E., and Wemmerus, V. (1988). Developing models of graduate student degree progress. Journal of Higher Education59: 163-189.Google Scholar
  23. Glaser, R. D., and Thorpe, J. S. (1986). Unethical intimacy: A survey of sexual contact and advances between psychology educators and female graduate students. American Psychologist41: 43-51.Google Scholar
  24. Godard, B. (1992). The supervision of women graduate students. In B. Godard (chair), Not Satisfied Yet: Report of the Task Force on the Status of Women Graduate Students(pp. 151-194). Toronto: Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University.Google Scholar
  25. Hall, R. M., and Sandler, B. R. (1982). The Classroom Climate: A Chilly One for Women?A publication of the Project on the Status and Education of Women. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges.Google Scholar
  26. Hall, R. M., and Sandler, B. R. (1983). Academic Mentoring for Women Students and Faculty: A New Look at an Old Way to Get Ahead. A publication of the Project on the Status and Education of Women. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges.Google Scholar
  27. Heinrich, D. T. (1991). Loving partnerships: Dealing with sexual attraction and power in doctoral advisement relationships. Journal of Higher Education62: 514-538.Google Scholar
  28. Lipschutz, S. S. (1993). Enhancing success in doctoral education: From policy to practice. In L. Baird (ed.), Increasing Graduate Student Retention and Degree Attainment(pp. 69-80). New Directions for Institutional Research No. 80. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  29. Lyons, W. L., Scroggins, D., and Rule, P. B. (1990). The mentor in graduate education. Studies in Higher Education15: 277-285.Google Scholar
  30. MacMillan, B. (1989). The flow-through hypothesis: A review of the data. In C. Filteau (ed.), Proceedings of a Conference on Women in Graduate Studies in Ontario. Toronto: Council of Ontario Universities.Google Scholar
  31. McAleese, R., and Welsh, J. (1985). A supervision of postgraduate research students: A review of recent developments. In J. Eggleston and S. Delamont (eds.), Supervision of Students for Research Degrees(pp. 13-23). London, England: British Educational Research Association.Google Scholar
  32. Moses, I. (1984). Supervision of higher degree students—problem areas and possible solutions. Higher Education Research and Development3: 109-119.Google Scholar
  33. Pyke, S.W. (1996). Sexual harassment and sexual intimacy in learning environments. Canadian Psychology37: 13-22.Google Scholar
  34. Pyke, S. W., and Sheridan, P. M. (1993). Logistic regression analysis of graduate student retention. Canadian Journal of Higher EducationXXIII-2: 44-64.Google Scholar
  35. Sandler, B. R., and Hall, R. M. (1986). The Campus Climate Revisited: Chilly for Women Faculty, Administrators and Graduate Students. A publication of the Project on the Status and Education of Women. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges.Google Scholar
  36. Schneider, B. E. (1987). Graduate women, sexual harassment and university policy. Journal of Higher Education58: 46-65.Google Scholar
  37. Sheinin, R (1989). Review of the implementations of the recommendations of the report on the “Status of Women in Ontario Universities.” In C. Filteau (ed.), Proceedings of a Conference on Women in Graduate Studies in Ontario. Toronto: Council of Ontario Universities.Google Scholar
  38. Sheridan, P. M. (1991). Effects of demographic, academic and financial variables on graduate-student persistence, withdrawal and degree progress at York University. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, York University, Toronto.Google Scholar
  39. Sheridan, P. M., and Pyke, S. W. (1994). Predictors of time to completion of graduate degrees. Canadian Journal of Higher EducationXXIV-2: 68-87.Google Scholar
  40. Tidball, M. F. (1973). Perspective on academic women and affirmative action. Educational Record54: 130-135.Google Scholar
  41. Tidball, M. E. (1976). Of men and research: The dominant themes in American higher education include neither teaching nor women. Journal of Higher Education47: 130-135.Google Scholar
  42. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving College: The Causes and Cures of Student Attrition, 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  43. Tuckman, H., Coyle, S., and Bae, Y. (1990). On Time to the Doctorate: A Study of the Increased Time to Complete Doctorates in Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  44. Williams, D. (1990). Is the post-secondary classroom a chilly one for women? Canadian Journal of Higher EducationXX-3: 29-42.Google Scholar
  45. Wilson, M. S., and Reschly, D. J. (1995). Gender and school psychology: Issues, questions, and answers. School Psychology Review24(1): 45-61.Google Scholar
  46. Wong, H. Y., and Sanders, J. M. (1982). Gender differences in the attainment of doctorates. Sociological Perspectives26(1): 29-49.Google Scholar
  47. Woodward, R. J. (1993). Factors affecting research student completion. Paper presented to the 15th annual forum of the European Association for Institutional Research. Turhu, Finland, August.Google Scholar
  48. Yeates, M. (1991). Doctoral Graduation Rates in Ontario Universities. Toronto: Council of Ontario Universities.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belinda Crawford Seagram
  • Judy Gould
  • Sandra W. Pyke

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations