Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Reagan Curtis

Committee Co-Chair

Scott Cottrell

Committee Member

Neal Shambaugh

Committee Member

Sam Stack

Committee Member

Adriane Williams.


Due to the high cost of doctoral education, high attrition of about 50%, and the constraints of higher education budgets, it is important to examine what causes doctoral students to leave their doctoral program without completion. Studies have shown that advising is one of the main contributing factors (e.g., Ferrer de Valero, 2001; Golde, 2000; Lenz, 1997). Document analysis of literature showed five distinct aspects of doctoral advising (i.e. advising approach, selection process, roles, responsibilities, and expectations, advisor-advisee relationship, and power relations) and their relation to the successful completion of students' dissertations. The purpose of this study was to use concept mapping to conceptualize how participants perceived the five components of doctoral advising in terms of their relation to completing one's dissertation effectively. In all, 38 professors and 114 doctoral students from universities with high and very high research activities sorted and rated 40 statements, which were generated from literature. Visual mapping analysis of sorted and rated data revealed that during the dissertation process, the topmost priority of professors was to promote their interaction with students and provide students with needed support, while doctoral students were more concerned with seeking guidance and structure in carrying out their dissertations.