Improving Social Belonging to Increase Success in an Online Doctorate Program




Online EdD Programs, Student Success, Belongingness, Imposter Syndrome


Institutions of higher education have long been plagued with difficulty in overcoming the high rates of incompletion of candidates who enroll in doctoral programs. As we continue to move through the post-pandemic era, online course delivery in doctoral programs continues to rise which brings an added layer of difficulty for EdD students to persist beyond their required coursework in the online environment (Rockinson-Szapkiw et al., 2019). As a result, it is incumbent upon online EdD program directors and faculty to not only identify barriers to online doctoral student success, but to also find solutions. In summer of 2020, a regional state university in the southeast accepted its inaugural class of doctoral students into a new higher education concentration of their existing on-ground K-12 EdD program. During the past few years between the program’s original design and inception, faculty have been examining factors related to doctoral student belongingness, from initial coursework through dissertation completion. Moreover, in 2021, the institution was fortunate to be admitted into the Carnegie Program on the Education Doctorate (CPED) consortium and as a result, has worked to adopt the CPED framework for EdD program design and application. It is through this new lens that the faculty at this institution have identified some lessons to share in pursuit of high rates of success while maintaining a demand of excellence in their work. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to use the newly designed Higher Education EdD program as a baseline case study towards improved online program student success.


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How to Cite

Rost, J., & Krahenbuhl, K. (2023). Improving Social Belonging to Increase Success in an Online Doctorate Program. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 8(1), 44–48.