Strategic Onboarding of Online Doctoral Students: Creating a Pathway to Academic Persistence

Barbara Holmes

Hampton University, USA

Kent Willis

Hampton University, USA

Ericka Woods

Hampton University, USA


Keywords: Strategic onboarding, Collaboration, Doctoral persistence, Doctoral retention, Doctoral advising, Doctoral mentoring.


An onboarding strategy can help online universities improve new doctoral student productivity, engagement, and retention. A prescribed plan is vital to ensure the onboarding process is aligned, and clear designed support is provided for students. Recent literature justifies strategic onboarding includes acquiring the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviors to become successful members of an organization (Beaver and Erdogan, 2011). Similarly, doctoral students may benefit from clearly designed rules, protocols, and practices exclusive to the online doctoral experience. This study presents the process of strategic onboarding strategies for that will provide a smart start for online doctoral students.


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