Your Chance of a PhD is…

I just read a blog entry by the Cranky Professor, who wrote about a recent news article in the Washington Post about the proportion of folks entering doctoral programs who actually end up obtaining their Ph.D.

One out of two. Not very high, huh?

They mention some of the following causes:

Some students, for example, have family, financial or health issues that make it impossible to stay in a full-time program; some students have doctoral advisers with whom it is difficult — or impossible — to work. Some aren’t a good fit for their program; others decide a master’s degree is enough to get a great job.

In my life, I often find that I am surprised by where I am, what I’m doing. Put into a question, it would be “Just how did I get here?”

So I have several questions for you:

  • How did you get here? Did you somehow “fall” into this program (I’m good at this, I applied, and they accepted me.), or have you actively decided that this field and the profession that you’ll be in, are really a wonderful fit?
  • Are you fully invested in making this happen?
  • What are the structures that you have put in place to support your continued progression and ultimate success?
  • Are they working? If not, what needs tweaking? What needs a radical makeover?

Don’t let your success be an accident or a surprise. Choose it consciously. Plan wisely. Build supports around you. Seek additional support when you need it.

-Steve Reiter
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  1. #1

    Hello Steve,

    How great to ‘meet’ another coach who’s joined the academogosphere.

    I’ll look forward to seeing your thoughts and suggestions.

    best,
    Mary McKinney, Ph.D.
    Successful Academic Coaching
    (quite similar to your title, right?)