Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education

Major Professor

Jeannine R. Studer

Committee Members

Autumn K. Cyprès, Shawn L. Spurgeon, Theresa M. Hopkins


Approximately half of doctoral students will withdraw from study before completing their doctorates (Bair & Haworth, 1999). The author sought to add to the limited literature pertaining to doctoral student attrition specifically in the field of counselor education. Phenomenology grounded the work of obtaining (a) enrollment experiences of students who withdrew from counselor education doctoral programs, and (b) thoughts/emotions associated with withdrawing from study. Findings included an application of doctoral attrition to Tinto’s (1975) Interactionalist model, how doctoral attrition continues to be an invisible problem, and recommendations for both doctoral students struggling to persevere and counselor education programs striving to increase retention rates.

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