Council of Graduate Schools - Ph.D. Completion Project  
Project Information Project Participants Quantitative Data Promising Practices

Research Partner Profile

Howard University—(Featured Profile)

Principal Investigator
Orlando L. Taylor
Dean, Graduate School
(202) 806-6800

Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director
Chontrese M. Doswell
Assistant Dean for Retention, Mentoring, and Support Programs
(202) 806-6800

Participating Programs (8)
Communication and Culture
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Electrical Engineering

The Howard University Graduate School is recognized as a national leader in working to address and improve Ph.D. completion, particularly in its role as the largest on-campus producer of African-American Ph.D. recipients. During Phase I Howard University convened a faculty retreat to engage participants on the topic of “Effective Mentoring Strategies for Doctoral Students” and discuss best practices for reducing attrition rates in early, mid, and late doctoral students. The retreat discussions led to an identification of best practices at multiple student stages, and provided an early platform to engage the leadership of the participating departments into the goals of the Project. During Phase II Howard University will enhance and expand interventions and assessment begun under Phase I of the Ph.D. Completion Project.


  • Host a doctoral completion summit to present project data collected by Howard, to present and discuss data-driven intervention and outcome assessment strategies, and to discussion national trends in doctoral completion and attrition.
  • Change model for graduate assistantship allocation to a “PhD preferred” model, whereby 80% of doctoral students and 20% of master’s students will be funded.
  • Hold continuing GA positions to strategic performance indicators of satisfactory degree progress.
  • Identify top undergraduates and invite them to participate in a research institute late in their sophomore year to prepare and recruit these students to pursue doctoral studies at Howard.
  • Provide competitive travel grants to support students in candidacy invited to present at major conferences.
  • Continue workshop series to define requirements and reinforce information critical to degree outcomes.


Tools and Templates
Contact Information


© 2008 Council of Graduate Schools Ph.D. Completion Project
All rights reserved.