Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Mary R. Jalongo, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kelli Jo Kerry-Moran, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study explores the motivations of community college faculty, adjuncts, and administrators who seek and obtain doctoral degrees. There were three categories of volunteers, all employed by a community college. These were volunteers who had recently completed a doctoral degree in the last five years, were currently enrolled in a doctoral program, or were seriously considering enrolling in a doctoral program in the near future. The research questions for this study sought to determine the demographic characteristics, including educational background, of participants; the self-reported motivations of the participants to complete a doctoral degree; and, the perceptions of participants regarding doctoral degree attainment and its relationship to students and community college success. A review of the literature indicated that a paucity of information exists in the literature about community colleges in general and, specifically about doctoral aspirations of faculty and administrators. Weiner’s Attribution Theory was used as a theoretical framework for this study and provided an authentic structure for evaluation of the responses to the research questions. Seventeen community college faculty, adjuncts, and administrators were interviewed through a structured interview process. Emerging themes were identified within responses to guided questions and across questions. Overall results indicated multiple motivators toward degree completion, including personal satisfaction in completion of a doctorate, opportunities for career advancement, and helping students succeed in the community college environment.