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Orientation and Retention of Counseling PhD Students: A Qualitative Study.

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Little is known concerning the satisfaction of newly admitted graduate students with their program's orientation process. In fact, Pruitt-Logan and Isaac (1995) called graduate students' experience "the great unaddressed academic issue in higher education." Some research has addressed specific aspects of graduate student orientation and retention, like mentoring and expectations. However, little has been done to evaluate the entire orientation experience. Taub and Komives (1998) found that a few components of their orientation program had large standard deviations, meaning that some students really liked or needed a certain component, while to others it was not as useful. Qualitative studies are useful in investigating differences where survey research is useful in identifying broad similarities. Accordingly, this qualitative study interviewed individual first-year students at a large, private university regarding the most salient aspects of their orientation experience. Four broad areas of concern emerged from the nine interviews: immediate concerns, mentorship programs, administrative issues, and the formal orientation meeting. (Author)

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Author:Cusworth, Sarah
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Aug 1, 2001
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