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Strategic Onboarding, Academic Residency, Cohort Model, Online Doctoral Program
This paper presents the results of participatory action research survey responses from doctoral students regarding strategic onboarding activities. Twelve first-year doctoral students in an inaugural doctoral program cohort responded to Likert Scale and open-ended questions during the first week of a two-week on-campus residency. Resulting student perspectives highlight the importance of faculty mentorship and cohort engagement during residency to clarify roles and responsibilities, build academic support and collaboration networks, and alleviate anxieties about doctoral program expectations. Specific recommendations for academic residency include providing increased opportunities for one-on-one conversations with faculty and administrators, and cohort socialization activities to identify peer strengths and alliances.