As part of a larger research project relating to the accuracy and quality of student research and committee supervision over DBA degrees, I needed to determine how many degrees were issued. Without an easy way to ascertain that information, I chose the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database as my source. Through a process of multiple downloads and data manipulation using R, Proquest reported 738 degrees in 2019. Of those degrees, three schools produced over 64% of the graduates –
- Walden University – 237 (32%)
- Northcentral University – 168 (23%)
- Capella University – 69 (9%)
Forty-three schools accounted for the remaining 36% of the degrees stored in ProQuest.
What’s unique about the three schools? All three were classified as for-profit universities for part of 2018, and each has been part of a merger or acquisition since then. Capella University merged with Strayer University in August 2018. Northcentral was purchased by the National University System in January 2019. Finally, Laureate Education, owner of Walden University, began the process of transferring ownership to Adtalem Global Education last month.
I wonder if the quantity of graduates created by these three schools will change in the next few years based on these corporate changes?