Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership


Dr. Jane Clark Lindle

Committee Member

Dr. Tony W. Cawthon

Committee Member

Dr. Hans W. Klar

Committee Member

Dr. Robert C. Knoeppel


Recent literature cites a growing population of students who wait several years post-baccalaureate and into their careers before entering a PhD program. Such population includes doctoral students in education. Despite repeated calls from scholars of higher education, few empirical studies investigate mid-career students’ experiences in doctoral programs. Existing literature consists of anecdotal reports, demographic accounts in which mid-career is a data point among many variables, or empirical studies of international students. Theoretical models describing student experiences of mid-career professionals in doctoral programs are particularly absent. A handful of studies have explored doctoral student experiences of mid-career professionals through traditional interviewing techniques.

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