Date of Award

Fall 9-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. John D. Long

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Way


The purpose of this study was to determine doctoral students’ reasoning for completing the required course work for their degree, but not completing their dissertation and thus the degree. There had not been formal research conducted on the students at Lindenwood that had not completed the doctoral program and the variables behind their not completing their degree. In order to gain a better understanding, the research looked at four categories of students: completed (achieved doctoral degrees); actively pursuing (on target to graduate in the allotted time); delayed completion (returned to the program or have needed extended time); failure to complete (quit the program). In each category, the research determined the variables that impacted the path of the student. This research may help Lindenwood University in its efforts to determine the reasons behind the success and failure of its graduate students. This looked specifically at the doctoral program and the status of students who were, or were at one time, all but dissertation (ABD), to uncover the barriers to completion. This study could help drive the decisions and direction of the doctoral program. The personal investment of the student and the university included a considerable amount of time and dedication. Universities invest in their programs through doctoral seminars, hiring high quality professors, and creating a highly rigorous graduate program. Graduate students invest a large amount of money, time, and trust into the university. The two work together to achieve the ultimate goal of a doctoral degree.


Copyright 2017