By Rosanna Tamburri. Too many students are dropping out of doctoral programs or taking too long to finish, prompting some universities to question what they can do to help them along.
After completing five years of study towards his PhD in English at Queen’s University, Ian Johnston dropped out. To those who have similarly slogged through a doctoral program without success, his reasons will sound all too familiar: his funding had run out; he hadn’t yet begun to write his dissertation; the isolation had become oppressive; and the prospects for landing a tenure-track faculty job in English studies – were he to forge ahead and finish – were dim.
So he left Queen’s in 2009 and enrolled in a master’s program in educational counselling at the University of Ottawa, which he completed in 2012. Now 32, Mr. Johnston is working as a freelance writer while he looks for work in the counselling field. He laments those lost years. Read more...