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Socialization of Engineering Doctoral Students in the U.S: A Phenomenological Study

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Date Issued:
2016
Abstract/Description:
The purpose of this study was to describe the lived experiences of doctoral engineering students' socialization with their advisors and colleagues. Using snowballing sampling methods, eleven students with research or teaching assistantship from three engineering programs from a large University in the Southeastern US agreed to participate. Face-to-face interviews were audio-recorded, descriptively transcribed, and analyzed using a variation of Colaizzi's method. Participants experienced difficulty adjusting to the workplace norms of the PhD program, which some did not start with clear expectations. Some participants lacked work experience before starting, but were thankful for support from more experienced doctoral students. Most participants were also frustrated by unreasonable time demands and heavy workload around deadlines. Participants were hesitant to share concerns with their advisors, fearing repercussions. Through trial and error and assistance from labmates, participants learned to work independently and become problem solvers. Participants from one rapidly changing and competitive field of engineering experienced additional stressed as they tried to keep pace with scholarly advances and publish more research. Participants' experiences corroborate some prior research about doctoral student socialization, but suggest that engineering their socialization was guided by a constellation of role models and not primarily by their advisors. Also contrary to prior research, even though most participants were international students, they did not experience significant difficulties with cultural adjustment to the US. Their cultural adjustment was aided by large number of other doctoral students from their region of the world and the fact that they had little time to venture out of their labs. Suggestions for future research are discussed.
Title: Socialization of Engineering Doctoral Students in the U.S: A Phenomenological Study.
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Name(s): Gholizadeh, Sona, Author
Boote, David, Committee Chair
Jeanpierre, Bobby, Committee Member
Parham, Jennifer, Committee Member
Owens, J. Thomas, Committee Member
Jasinski, Jana, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The purpose of this study was to describe the lived experiences of doctoral engineering students' socialization with their advisors and colleagues. Using snowballing sampling methods, eleven students with research or teaching assistantship from three engineering programs from a large University in the Southeastern US agreed to participate. Face-to-face interviews were audio-recorded, descriptively transcribed, and analyzed using a variation of Colaizzi's method. Participants experienced difficulty adjusting to the workplace norms of the PhD program, which some did not start with clear expectations. Some participants lacked work experience before starting, but were thankful for support from more experienced doctoral students. Most participants were also frustrated by unreasonable time demands and heavy workload around deadlines. Participants were hesitant to share concerns with their advisors, fearing repercussions. Through trial and error and assistance from labmates, participants learned to work independently and become problem solvers. Participants from one rapidly changing and competitive field of engineering experienced additional stressed as they tried to keep pace with scholarly advances and publish more research. Participants' experiences corroborate some prior research about doctoral student socialization, but suggest that engineering their socialization was guided by a constellation of role models and not primarily by their advisors. Also contrary to prior research, even though most participants were international students, they did not experience significant difficulties with cultural adjustment to the US. Their cultural adjustment was aided by large number of other doctoral students from their region of the world and the fact that they had little time to venture out of their labs. Suggestions for future research are discussed.
Identifier: CFE0006941 (IID), ucf:51637 (fedora)
Note(s): 2017-05-01
Ph.D.
Education and Human Performance, Dean's Office EDUC
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Socialization -- Doctoral Students -- Engineering -- International Students -- Student-faculty Interaction -- Higher Education -- Phenomenology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0006941
Restrictions on Access: public 2017-11-15
Host Institution: UCF

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