Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Delores E. McNair

First Committee Member

Jacalyn Griffen

Second Committee Member

Brent Duncan


This study explored the influences on Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) students who have completed all required coursework for their degree, but have not finished their dissertation, in an effort to identify factors influencing degree completion. Past research documents an increased time-to-degree (TTD) for Ed.D. students, which has a negative impact on K-12 and higher education, as well as on business, government, and society. This study examined Ed.D. students enrolled at a private teaching college in northern California by use of a survey built upon the framework of Bean’s nine themes of college student retention. It analyzed demographic indicators as well as the professional and personal priorities and how these characteristics interface with the demands of completing a doctoral dissertation. The results highlight key differences between Ed.D. students and other graduate and undergraduate students to understand the reasons behind their increased TTD.