An investigation of women's perceived stressors and support systems while enrolled in an online graduate degree program
Lynne Arric, Lamar University - Beaumont, United States
Lamar University - Beaumont . Awarded
This qualitative study was designed to investigate the stressors and support systems of women enrolled in an online master's degree program in education. Participants were women with multiple personal, career, and family responsibilities. Survey data and demographic data were used to identify women with the highest level of stress who were successfully persisting in the master's program. Ten women were interviewed using a phenomenological narrative inquiry approach and the interviews were analyzed for recurrent themes. Findings from the study indicated the stressors most common to female graduate students were related to family, finances, and health-related issues. The results also suggested that positive personal relationships and interaction with other students and faculty were critical support factors for retention of these students. For institutions of higher education these findings may offer insight for incorporating student services such as cohort models and web-based conferencing to allow for the development of the students' connection to the program and the university. For women seeking to enroll into an online graduate program, this study may provide insight into assessing their resources for successful completion of an online master's degree.
Arric, L. An investigation of women's perceived stressors and support systems while enrolled in an online graduate degree program. Ph.D. thesis, Lamar University - Beaumont.
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