We are grateful to the Editor of Operant Subjectivity for inviting the five of us to write this collaborative article addressing the comparabilities of and differences between our two independently submitted Q studies (Burkholder & Janson, 2013; Baltrinic, Waugh, & Brown, 2013) examining doctoral student completion. The virtually simultaneous appearance of two Q studies examining the same phenomenon understandably attracted the Editor’s and reviewers’ attention and gave rise to this unique opportunity to examine the studies side-by-side. What follows are a few discussion points relevant to design similarities and differences between the two Q studies, including reflections and thoughts about further research and discussion about the generalizability of Q research—i.e., about the “reliable schematics” (Thomas & Baas, 1993) that exist in our respective studies of PhD student program completion in the field of counselor education.
Faculty and Student Perspectives on What Helps Counselor Education Doctoral Students towards Program Completion01/01/2013
The purpose of this study was to describe and illustrate a strategy for uncovering student and faculty perspectives about program retention and completion in a department of counselor education and supervision and then to use those perspectives as a springboard for recommending policy innovations. The concourse for this investigation was comprised of the available counselor education literature concerning programmatic and personnel influences favoring or impeding program completion, supplemented by interviews with faculty, current students, and a review of program materials. The resulting Q sample (N=47) was administered to faculty and graduate students (n=15). Analysis revealed three Q factors: those participants who view the students as flourishing under the guidance of an encouraging faculty, those concerned with issues of diversity, and those who stress the importance of external supports of family and friends. These factors, conceived as decision structures, serve as a basis for recommending various courses of action designed to address problems that are implicit in the three perspectives. The results have implications beyond the specific department by providing strategies and procedures that can be adopted in other organizational settings.