Despite rising student loan debt, more people than ever are pursuing higher education. Distance learning and online universities have created new opportunities for those hoping to pursue advanced degrees. Jeffrey T. Evans earned a doctorate in Health Administration from the University of Phoenix and has mentored students in doctoral programs. In this brief volume, he offers advice to people enrolled or considering enrolling in such programs.
Evans notes that attrition rate in doctoral programs is around 50%. He emphasizes that these programs, especially the dissertation phase, are a long haul, with many obstacles, and offers principles to apply and tips to remember when breakdowns occur along the way.
Evans offers practical advice on topics such as financing, time management, balancing family and personal time, etc., but the author’s advice is chiefly motivational. Evans recounts his own story and the bumps he encountered and lessons he learned from his experience. Focusing especially on the composition of the doctoral dissertation, he coaches doctoral candidates through the research and writing process, applying the “TAN” acronym: “Take a negative thing and turn it positive”; “Always stay a step ahead”; “Never let them see you sweat but let them know when you’re mad.” (Bolded letters added for emphasis.) Evans concludes his book by emphasizing the need for humility and an open-mind.
The book’s concept – coaching and motivational material for doctoral students – is original, and Evans’s advice will resonate with those thinking of applying to a doctoral program. Unfortunately, his writing is riddled with grammatical, spelling and usage errors (e.g., he repeatedly misuses the word “perspective” for “prospective”). The author also writes in a conversational style, with occasional run-on sentences that are hard to digest. What works in spoken communication does not always make for easy reading.
A strong editor is needed to shape this book into a more polished presentation. Still, Evans has sound advice, solid experience, and the caring heart of an effective mentor that readers will appreciate.
Also available as an ebook.