"Forty percent of doctoral students who begin a program are unsuccessful in completing it. This high rate of attrition is regarded as one of academia’s best-kept secrets"
(Conceição & Swaminathan, 2011).
Despite the daunting statistic regarding graduate student attrition, you can surmount common challenges that undermine the success of graduate students.
What are the dreams that led you to enter graduate school?
How can you design your academic and personal life to fulfill those dreams?
I will help you define your problems, identify strengths and weaknesses, provide the degree of individualized guidance needed, teaching you needed skills, enhancing your ability to take action independently, and point you towards useful resources that will inform you and help structure the research process. In this way, I support your growing independence as a scholar and as a professional.
Throughout our work together, you will receive personalized care, ongoing support, ideas to help organize your work, and feedback as needed. We will also discuss ways to integrate your research with your life dreams.
There are three basic kinds of challenges that graduate students encounter: the mechanics of how to perform research and write a dissertation; personal and academic relationships; and emotional issues.
First, there is the knowledge and skills required to successfully conduct original research, perform a literature review, analyze results, and present the findings of your study. In a way, you must learn a new language with adequate proficiency to find your way in the world of scholars and communicate in a scholarly fashion. Time management and organization are critical to your success. In your new role, your life must be redesigned to best support your research efforts, while also maintaining balance and daily quality of life.
Second, there are interpersonal issues that may arise between a student and a member of the dissertation committee. Knowing how to accept feedback graciously, and how to use criticism to improve your work, are important skills. Being a graduate student will also affect relationships with significant others and family members.
Third, you might feel confused, inadequate, anxious, isolated, overwhelmed, burned out, or abandoned. Graduate students sometimes have an underlying fear that they will never complete their dissertation and that they will never graduate. Imposter syndrome, a sense that you do not really qualify to be a doctoral candidate and that you do not deserve a doctorate degree, can also dam up creative flow. Problematic issues sometimes originate in family of origin, from prior negative experiences with teachers, chronic illness, family emergencies, or even from biases in society.
Completing your dissertation may also require addressing, healing, and integrating past and present issues.
After we identify and clarify your personal challenges, these issues can be transformed into catalysts for your work, defining what you need to learn, focusing intention, fueling creativity, and sending you on an intentional journey.
Successful completion of a dissertation or master's thesis requires a new self image, accompanied by new work habits, relationships, knowledge, and skills.
We will discuss how your graduate education and research is relevant to your life and your career aspirations, keeping you connected to important sources of inspiration.
Together, we will define your goals and design a course of action for you for you to complete before our next session, building on your strengths and previous successes. In this way, I will contribute towards your growing independence as a scholar.
As a self-actualized individual, you can serve as a channel for work that will be important to individuals, communities, organizations, and perhaps even our dear little planet. In addition, we can consider how your dissertation will lead to professional conference presentations, publications in journals or books, and networking to advance career goals.
These new ways of being do not happen automatically. You might not be aware of what you should do or could do, or what resources are readily available.
Coaching can be a protective factor that strengthens your resilience, develops coping skills, and provides tools needed for your success.
I can support your creative academic process throughout your academic career as you work on essays, write a thesis, conduct research, and complete your dissertation.
In addition, we can begin building your scholarly career prior to graduation so that you establish a "track record." This can be important for job searches after graduation. I can teach you how to apply for scholarships, submit articles to peer reviewed journals, write proposals for presentations at professional conferences, and apply for teaching positions.
I can also assist with general APA style editing or recommend professional editors, as well as advise you on applying for scholarships, fellowships, submitting work for publication, writing proposals for conference presentations, applying for faculty positions, and forming a supportive community of scholars.
We can meet in person or work together via telephone, Skype or Google video conferencing, and/or email.
For writing and research, weekly 1 hour sessions are generally adequate. However, more frequent sessions are available as needed.
I am a member of the International Association of Coaching and conform to their ethical standards of practice.
For additional information on my background and training, please see my Bio.
You may contact me by calling 206-588-5278 or using the contact form available here.
Coaching for graduate students is $150/hour.
Payment is required at the end of our session and may be made using check, cash, or credit card.
PAYPAL AND CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS
Conceição, S. C. O., & Swaminathan, R. (2011). It's all part of the process: Advising, coaching, and mentoring graduate students. Retrieved from http://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2011/09/advising-graduate-students/.
I thank my friends for allowing me to use their photographs:
"Idrissa Ekandyo Writing," by Britnay A. Ferguson.
Harold Bone, Ph.D., pastoral counselor, after commencement.
Miyuki Tomura, Ph.D., with her professor, Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., post graduation party.