This study focused on exploring professional doctorate candidates' and recent graduates' perceptions of their doctoral supervision experience. Candidates from across the United States, in various academic disciplines, were surveyed and 255 total responses were gathered. The literature search focused on doctorate supervisory practices, doctoral supervisors' characteristics, and unique differences of academic disciplines. This was a mixed-methods study. The data were analyzed by quantitative and qualitative analysis. Quantitative data was analyzed through the use of descriptive statistics and inferential statistics (chi square test and Kruskal-Wallis test). Qualitative responses were analyzed using Grounded Theory. Respondents identified the most important competencies of a doctoral supervisor as having good communication skills and to understand the doctoral process. The most important ways of supervision were indicated to be honest dialogue and relationship of trust. Five emerging themes developed from the qualitative analysis, including engagement and commitment from supervisor, feedback, emotional support, supervisor experience and expertise, and supervision structure. The results demonstrate the importance of communication and relationship development between supervisor and candidate, as well as setting clear expectations for supervisors to take for an individualized approach to supervision. This study identified the following opportunities that professional doctorate programs and supervisors could focus their efforts on: providing or attending supervisory training and approach supervision with a planned framework, facilitate a coaching and mentorship relationship with advisees, and set clear expectations that are reiterated throughout the entire duration of the doctoral experience.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Educational Leadership; Executive
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Whaley, Kari, "An Exploratory Study of USA Candidates' and Recent Graduates' Perceptions of Professional Doctorate Supervision" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5938.