All posts tagged doctoral students

Setting Realistic Goals

As I explore my doctoral goals, one of the things I see among my classmates is unrealistic goals in terms of completing the dissertation process. One thing to keep in mind, a doctorate degree is the highest level in the education journey, so it is not a sprint.

“Life is a marathon, not a sprint……..So don’t rush things! Because anything worth having is worth waiting for” Author Unknown

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What is the dissertation and selecting a topic

dtopicsWhat is the dissertation?

A doctorate degree is the highest level one can earn. What makes the doctorate different than other degrees is the dissertation process. The dissertation is typically doing original empirical research that answers a research question within five chapters. There are a few colleges that utilize a three chapter dissertation, but most have a five chapter dissertation. So for this month’s blog the goal is to explore the dissertation, what it is and selecting a topic.

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The Dissertation

dissertation

The biggest part of a doctoral program is the dissertation which is what separates it from the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prior to reaching the dissertation phase, there is the course work that has to be completed and until today most of my blogs have been about doing the course work. For this month, I have decided to begin discussing the dissertation process and what a dissertation is all about.

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Decisions?? Decisions?? Decisions??

Arrow For this month’s blog, I was trying to determine what the best topic was to write about. Based upon my husband’s recommendation and the process he is currently going through, and that is selecting the right school along with the right doctoral degree program. My husband is in the process of completing his MS in Information Systems and wants to continue into a doctoral program. The challenge is does one do a DBA, PhD or what type of program? Does he stick to a program that offers an emphasis on technology or perhaps just do one that is more about business?

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Doctoral Database Research

Research Graphic Last month, my blog was about the different types of research. This month it is about how to use the college databases. Every college has a different set of databases, but there are a couple of databases that every college has in their school library. Two of the most popular databases are Ebscohost and ProQuest; these are my two favorite databases for a couple of reasons.

Both Ebscohost and ProQuest cover a wide variety of topics, they can be accessed utilizing one particular focus or by searching all of their different topic databases. I like to search each of these databases for my assignments, typically I will find more than enough research in these two databases to support my research papers.

One of the things that I hear frequently from my students and others is that these databases are different than Google. Change can be difficult and Google has created a search engine that allows you to ask detailed questions. So to help better understand how to use these databases at college libraries, I have created a video for this month.

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Selecting a Doctoral Degree

Selecting a Doctoral Degree

Directions

Fantastic, you have decided to obtain your Doctorate degree! Now you have to decide on which doctorate degree to obtain.

Deciding to pursue a doctoral degree was the easiest part for me; the difficult decision was which doctoral degree to pursue. Most people automatically think about a doctoral degree as being a PhD (Doctorate of Philosophy). The truth of the situation is there are far more doctorate degrees than most individuals realize. Here is a chart outlining many of the doctorate degrees, but it is not a comprehensive list there are many different medical degrees not included in this list.

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Reflections!

This time last year 3/15/14, I walked across the stage in Nashville, was hooded, and became Dr. Ila R. Allen. It was a long time coming for I thought the end would never be in sight and have my freedom back after six years to make it across that finish line. I look back at all of the classes, papers, money, and time that it took to get to where I am now. I know some of you have been on the journey for a short amount of time and some well…. might be ready to throw in the towel, I knew that feeling too. There are so many reasons that we decide to pursue a doctorate degree from personal to career advancement but we are not prepared as we thought we were, reflections.

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How to Get Exposure

Greetings and Salutations!  Winter has settled in for a few more bumps especially in the Midwest and East Coast part of the country. Just as snow keeps coming back to Boston so does the re-writes and challenges of the dissertation process.  As one goes through an online program you begin to see the differences between your program and the “traditional” program.  Being an online student I believe that there is no exposure in terms of academic colleagues (unless online), meet-ups, conferences, etc.  I am a firm believer of joining professional organizations in order to engage with those who have the same research interest or methodology.

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Refresh! Motivation! Game Time!

The holidays are over and January is on its way out the door. Hopefully while on your brief hiatus, you have had time to make new goals and a timeline to reach the next rung on the ladder. When I was part of doctoral process, I made myself take those holidays in order to rejuvenate myself in terms of reassessing my goals. The process does not stop until you have defended and uploaded the dissertation to ProQuest therefore; it is always there beckoning to be finished. A new year tends to lead to a new perspective of what needs to be completed, new goals, what needs to change, and the steps to get there. So, this seems to bring you back to the planning stage like in the beginning.

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All About Self

These past few months I have written about various issues regarding being an online PhD student. Semesters/quarters have come and gone and most students are on holiday except for those who still have to stay on the grind. What I learned thru the doctoral process is that one must take care of SELF. I found it very hard to even think about stepping back from writing let alone actually doing it but with much prodding from my mentor I learned how to do it.

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