Administrative Issues Journal


Literature regarding advanced degree completion illustrates multiple factors attributing to completion or abandonment of dissertation research. Contributing factors are typically linked to the environment associated with the institution in which a doctoral candidate is enrolled, or personality characteristics held by individual candidates. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gather data from current doctoral candidates regarding factors that inhibited their completion of the doctor of education degree. Initial responses from participants appeared to confirm findings from similar research studies exploring dissertation non-completers. Most participants noted personal factors for non-completion, while a few mentioned institutional factors. In order to improve the success rate of doctoral degree completion, it is important to explore further the factors influencing non-completion among candidates, including specifically examining the transition from coursework to independent research and by seeking input from all parties involved in the process.