Colleges and universities struggle with declining program completion rates among graduate students. While the attrition rate of graduate students declined over the last five years in the United States, the issue of graduate student persistence continues to be challenging. This study identifies and explores reported characteristics: expectations, motivation, self-discipline, emotional intelligence, and passion for learning. Graduate students studying educational leadership conducted a qualitative inquiry to approach theoretical comprehension of the intrinsic motivations, expectations, and major attributes of successful graduate students. Examining these areas provides a deeper understanding of success achieved by graduate students.



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