Thinking of doing a doctorate?
Reflections from a tertiary learning advisor perspective
Keywords:Tertiary learning advisor, TLA, doctoral study, doctorate, PhD, autoethnography
This article considers the desirability of the doctorate for a tertiary learning advisor (TLA), explains the process and experience of doctoral study, and affirms how doctoral study can enhance the effectiveness of a TLA in developing students’ academic literacies. Effectiveness relates not only to the pedagogical relationship between a TLA and students, but to enhanced visibility and credibility of the TLA and their team within their institution. But what is the doctoral journey actually like? This article will be of interest to curious individuals who may have wondered what the doctorate involves in terms of time and commitment, and whether the benefits outweigh the costs. This article seeks to demystify the process and encourage neophyte researchers who may be considering a qualitative project. Using an autoethnography approach, I take as a case study my own doctoral journey, touching on my initial motivation and sharing candid insights on the challenges and milestones as I perceived them. These insights are shared through a series of brief narratives and reflections, with practical advice offered for each stage of the journey.
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