GMercyU's EdD Program Touts High Graduation and Retention Rate

Gwynedd Mercy University Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership Raymond Bandlow, PhD will be a featured presenter at the National Conference of the American Association of University Administrators.

Dr. Bandlow will present an innovative approach to doctoral program completion that has attracted national attention. GMercyU's Doctorate in Educational Leadership program graduated its first cohort this past May with a graduation rate of 76% in just three years, nearly double the national average of 41% in 10 years, according to a 2010 study done by the Council of Graduate Schools.

Currently, the EdD program's year-to-year retention rate is 93%. One of the reasons for the high graduation and retention rates is the strong support students receive in completing their dissertations. At GMercyU, each newly-enrolled doctoral student is assigned to a dissertation advisor in the first course. The dissertation advisor guides the doctoral student through a series of dissertation advisement courses scheduled throughout the course of study to ensure that the student meets benchmarks of progress.

Through a student-centered approach that personalizes the program and imparts a sense of connectedness to the university, the program is constructed to result in dissertation completion by the time coursework is completed.

"The first cohort's graduation rate is strong evidence that this unique model has proved to be successful," Dr. Bandlow said.