It was 20 years ago today…
Or so the song goes.
In reality, it was 20 years ago on a very cold January day in 2002
when Cohort 1 walked in the door of the Seattle campus and we began this PhD adventure.
This is our 20th year.
And we have much to celebrate.
We are conducting Antioch’s required Comprehensive Program Review this year which gives us the opportunity to look back these past years in order to look forward to our third decade. Over the course of the coming months, we will be deep into the data-gathering phase, which will include pulling together enrollment and graduation numbers, administering surveys to alumni, students, and external members of dissertation committees, reviewing the curriculum pathways, and conducting a Delphi study with the core faculty. Once gathered, we will be reviewing the information and trying to make sense of it all. We hope to conclude the process, which involves one or more external reviewers by May/June 2022.
There are two major overarching areas of program curiosity as we do the work of the Comprehensive. We are embarking on this review at a very critical juncture for us. First, as we pivot to our third decade, we have a generational shift as the founding faculty all of whom have retired, or are/will be retiring in the next few years. Not only does this raise questions of succession planning but from a less transactional and more transformational lens, it raises the opportunities ahead to continue to be on the edge as an experimental and innovative doctoral program. This links with our second area of significant curiosity as part of this comprehensive. Through a lens of listening to our alumni and students and faculty, looking at data from enrollment to graduation rates, from hiring to nurturing faculty, in what ways have we been successful as an inclusive and anti-racist learning community,
and where are our opportunities for further growth?
We will definitely share the program’s Comprehensive Review document, what we’ve learned and how it addresses our questions above. And HEADS UP – if you receive a survey or are asked to participate and share experiences please do so, your voice will be heard in our review. Thanks in advance.
Here’s some of what we are already learning.
Our completion rates over the first 14 cohorts (meaning those that fall within that 7-year from admission to graduation) is extraordinary, ranging between 70-90% depending on the cohort. The national average of graduation rates for doctoral education in the U.S. is about 50%, with STEM programs being slightly higher and social science/humanities programs being lower.
We have an incredibly diverse student body and that richness continues across time and all years. White students are approximately 60% of the student body, African American students, in the lower 20% in the earlier years and more recently closer to 30%. LatinX students have hovered around 5-6%, Asian 2%. The percent of Native students has declined as has the percent choosing not to respond.
The percent of women in the program has increased from 64% in the first decade to closer to 77% in more recent cohorts.
The mean age has stayed in the mid-40s across all years.
There is no discernable statistical difference in time to completion or graduation rates between
White and Students of Color. The mean is 5.5 years, with as many taking far less time as those
taking more time.
Upon reaching candidacy, students complete a survey covering their experience in the program up to
that point. An analysis of survey results since 2018 has shown that students unanimously feel that they
are prepared to do their dissertation work; strongly support the importance of residencies and learning
achievements to their learning; and are very positive about their relationships with faculty, staff,
We have 287 alumni to date. Close to 40% are/have been donors whether in the form of annual
contribution once or each year, as well as and multi-year pledges. Again, this is far higher than the
national average in terms of higher education alumni donors, which typically is closer to 10%!
Now Accepting Applications!
Applications are accepted year-round. Early review of complete applications occurs after October 1st each year. Review of subsequent complete applications begins after February 1st each year and continues through mid-May and/or until the cohort is full. For more information contact [email protected]