SCHOOL OF EDUCATION. DOCTOR OF EDUCATION (EdD) DISSERTATION HANDBOOK

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1 SCHOOL OF EDUCATION DOCTOR OF EDUCATION (EdD) DISSERTATION HANDBOOK This handbook is a guide to the dissertation process for Liberty University School of Education doctoral students. It does not constitute a contract and is subject to change at the discretion of LU School of Education. This version of the dissertation handbook supersedes all previous versions. Liberty University 1971 University Blvd. Lynchburg, VA Revised September 2017

2 2 Administration and Support Team for Doctoral Research Dr. Lucinda Spaulding Administrative Chair of Research Dr. Scott Watson Chair, Quantitative Doctoral Research Dr. James Swezey Chair, Qualitative Doctoral Research Kirsten Hoegh Director of Ed.D. Support Rochelle Jagst Ed.D. Gate Coordinator Geoff Matthews Dissertation Coordinator

3 3 Table of Contents 1. Introduction Introduction to the Doctoral Program and the Dissertation Process Purpose of this Handbook Academic Policies and Specialized Coursework Time Limit for Completion of the Degree Number of NP Grades Limit for Times Registered for EDUC Continuous Enrollment Policy Relevant Research Courses Comprehensive Examination Comprehensive Examination Format Comprehensive Examination Completion (Candidacy Approval) Choosing a Dissertation Committee Secure a Chair Update Committee Member Form Dissertation Guidelines Dissertation Style Dissertation Research Topics Dissertation Research Designs Academic Honesty The Prospectus Proposal... 16

4 4 7.1 Develop the Proposal Submit the Proposal for a RC Review: Milestone One The Proposal Defense Defend the Proposal: Milestone Two IRB Submit IRB Application(s) Receive IRB Approval: Milestone Three The Dissertation Execute the Research Develop Final Dissertation Manuscript Submit the Dissertation Manuscript for a RC Review: Milestone Four Submit the Dissertation Manuscript for a Professional Edit Schedule a Dissertation Defense (Register for EDUC 990) Pre-defense Preparing for the Defense Defend the Dissertation: Milestone Five Publication and Graduation Appendix A: Dissertation Committee Qualifications and Responsibilities Appendix B: Dissertation Defense Rubric and Decision Form Appendix C: Dissertation Approval Process Visual Appendix D: Quantitative Dissertation Template...41 Appendix E: Qualitative Dissertation Template...72

5 5 1. Introduction 1.1 Introduction to the Doctoral Program and the Dissertation Process The doctoral program in the School of Education (SOE) consists of two primary components: the coursework and the dissertation. The student completes coursework to develop and hone critical thinking skills, writing skills, and knowledge. The purpose of the coursework is to prepare the student to become a doctoral candidate. The doctoral dissertation is the final academic requirement for the Ed.D. and is designed to evaluate the candidate s capabilities as a scholar. It is often more difficult and can often take longer to complete than the coursework. 1.2 Purpose of this Handbook The purpose of this handbook is to clarify the steps leading to the dissertation process and the dissertation process itself. The handbook is a guide for the dissertation, including the writing, the proposal defense, and the final dissertation. In general terms, the roles and responsibilities of the candidate, the chair, other committee members, and the research consultants (RCs) are outlined. Because the completed dissertation is a publication of Liberty University (LU) and represents the university, the SOE, and the author, candidates are expected to maintain high standards concerning the content and appearance of dissertations. Thus, the second purpose of this handbook is to provide directives and standards for doctoral candidates to follow in the dissertation process. The handbook provides specifications about the content and style of the dissertation manuscript. The handbook also acts as an aid for the dissertation chair and committee to ensure the maintenance of high standards concerning the form and appearance of dissertations.

6 6 2. Academic Policies and Specialized Coursework There are several academic policies that are utilized specifically for the doctoral programs in the SOE. Some of the policies are dependent on the specific degree completion plan (DCP) the student is working under. More information about these policies is detailed below. 2.1 Time Limit for Completion of the Degree The maximum time limit for completion of the Ed.D. program is seven years. Any student who does not complete coursework within the permissible time limit for any reason, including discontinued enrollment, must reapply for admission. If the student wishes to continue in the program at a later date, he or she will need to reapply and if accepted, will be subject to all requirements for the degree completion plan (DCP) for the current academic year. A student may reapply to the program only once, and the Administrative Chair of Research will determine how many additional semesters will be granted. Students who wish to appeal for extra time in the program should submit a formal appeal via the SOE Policy Appeals Form. Exception: For students under and later DCPs who were admitted with 18 or more hours of credit from an Ed.S. program, the time limit for completion of the Ed.D. is five years. 2.2 Number of NP Grades Students are only allowed one No Pass (NP) grade as part of the Ed.D. program. Two NPs in any one course will result in removal from the program. This policy applies specifically to EDUC 970, 980, 989, and Limit for Times Registered for EDUC 989 Students under the and later DCPs are only allowed to register for EDUC 989 three times before successful completion of an approved proposal. In addition, students have a

7 7 limit of nine times registering for EDUC 989. Exceeding either of the limits will result in removal from the program. If the registration limit is exceeded, students who wish to continue in the program must submit a formal appeal via the SOE Policy Appeals Form in order to request an extension. Each student must include a full justification of the request and if applicable, documentation evidencing his or her chair s support of the extension. If the appeal for an extension is approved, the Administrative Chair of Research in conjunction with the corresponding Chair of Qualitative or Quantitative Doctoral Research will determine the new deadline for program completion. Any student who does not complete coursework within the permissible time limit for any reason, including discontinued enrollment, must reapply for admission. If students wish to continue in the program at a later date, they need to reapply and if accepted, will be subject to all requirements for the DCP for the current academic year. 2.4 Continuous Enrollment Policy After completion of EDUC 980, students must be continually enrolled in the program until completion of EDUC 990 (Dissertation Defense). Continuous enrollment means that the student must be enrolled in at least one course that will count toward completion of the Ed.D. program per semester (including summer). Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will result in removal from the program. If students wish to continue in the program at a later date, they need to reapply and if accepted, will be subject to all requirements for the degree completion plan (DCP) for the current academic year. Note: Students returning to the program after breaking enrollment for more than one year may be required to complete additional coursework or retake courses at the discretion of either the Chair of Quantitative Doctoral Research or Chair of Qualitative Doctoral Research.

8 8 2.5 Relevant Research Courses Several research courses are directly relevant to the dissertation process. Please be aware that these courses, if required as part of the DCP, must be taken at Liberty in the SOE Ed.D. program and cannot be transferred from other schools or universities. EDUC 812: Advanced Educational Statistics EDUC 815: Quantitative Methods of Research EDUC 817: Qualitative Methods of Research EDUC 915: Quantitative Analysis EDUC 917: Qualitative Analysis EDUC 919: Professional Writing and Research EDUC 980: Dissertation Prospectus EDUC 989: Dissertation Proposal and Research EDUC 990: Dissertation Defense 3. Comprehensive Examination Students must register for the comprehensive examination (EDUC 970) in conjunction with EDUC 919 and successfully complete it prior to entering the dissertation phase of the Ed.D. program. 3.1 Comprehensive Examination Format The comprehensive examination is based on the methods chapter assignment and the methods presentation for EDUC 919. Methods assignments vary somewhat by form of research, design, and EDUC 919 professor.

9 9 3.2 Comprehensive Examination Completion (Candidacy Approval) Upon passing EDUC 919 and EDUC 970, the student will be considered a doctoral candidate. If the student passes EDUC 919 but fails the comprehensive examination, he or she will receive an NP for EDUC 970 but will have the opportunity to reenroll in EDUC 970 for a second semester and retake the exam. This responsibility will entail improving the methods chapter and presentation from EDUC 919 to the point where it is acceptable to pass the exam. If the student fails to successfully pass the comprehensive examination during the second attempt, he or she will be removed from the program. 4. Choosing a Dissertation Committee While enrolled in EDUC 919 and EDUC 970 (if not earlier), students should begin thinking about identifying a potential dissertation chair. This selection is an extremely important decision. During the semester in which the Prospectus Development course (EDUC 980) is taken, each candidate should officially secure a dissertation chair. Then, under the direction of the chair, the candidate should secure committee members. The dissertation committee must include the following: 1. A committee chair who has an earned doctoral degree (Ed.D. or Ph.D.) in an educationrelated field and who is employed by LU (residential or online), or an approved LU doctoral graduate found on the Chair Search list; 2. A committee member who has an earned doctoral degree (Ed.D. or Ph.D.) in an educationrelated field and who is employed by LU (residential or online), or an approved Liberty doctoral graduate found on the Committee Search list; and 3. A committee member who has an earned doctoral degree (Ed.D. or Ph.D.) in an education-

10 10 related field outside LU and who is approved by the committee chair. Note: If a student wishes to have a committee member who holds a degree other than an Ed.D. or Ph.D. in an education-related field, he or she should contact the Director of Ed.D. Support to seek approval from the department. Appendix A, Dissertation Committee Qualifications and Responsibilities, outlines more details. When contacting potential chairs and committee members, the candidate needs to organize and provide a complete methods chapter for a dissertation or a complete prospectus. The methods chapter is developed in EDUC 919, and the prospectus is developed in EDUC 980. The quantitative and qualitative dissertation templates are provided as appendices in this handbook. 4.1 Secure a Chair Candidates can use the Chair Search webpage to search for a chair and to determine a chair s availability. To access this webpage, the candidate will need to use his or her full Liberty address to log in (not just username). Internet Explorer is the recommended web browser. Prior to contacting a chair, it is important that the candidate check the chair s availability (noted on the Chair Search webpage). Further, potential chairpersons may only be contacted one at a time. A mass must never be sent. In some cases, the candidate might find it difficult to find a suitable dissertation chair. This situation may be due to a poorly a written dissertation prospectus or an unusual topic outside the expertise or interest of potential chairs. Although it is the responsibility of the candidate to find a chair, the candidate may a request for assistance to the Dissertation Coordinator with an attached dissertation prospectus or methods chapter via The Dissertation Coordinator, with the help of the Chair of Qualitative Doctoral Research or the Chair of Quantitative Doctoral Research, will assist the

11 11 candidate in identifying individuals to serve on the committee. Candidates may be asked to consult the Committee Member Search webpage for help in identifying and contacting potential committee members. A candidate should only add committee members after a chair is selected and after consultation with and approval of the chair. Note: Once a chair is formally selected, further changes will only be considered if very serious situations occur. Under these circumstances, the candidate should contact the Director of Ed.D. Support to seek approval from the Administrative Chair of Research. 4.2 Update Committee Member Form Once the chair and the committee members are secured, the candidate needs to complete the Committee Member Form typically while enrolled in EDUC 980. A Committee Member Form will be created for each student along with his or her My Dissertation Portal site in SharePoint, and the link to the form will be housed in his or her individual My Dissertation Portal site. Candidates will not be able to access this form prior to EDUC 919. To access the Committee Member Form, candidates need to access their My Dissertation Portal site in SharePoint (to access his or her individual My Dissertation Portal site, the candidate will use his or her full Liberty e- mail address to log in, and Internet Explorer is the recommended web browser): Note: It is important that candidates keep their Committee Member Form up-to-date as the information on this form affects final defense scheduling, as well as payment to committee members after the final defense. 5. Dissertation Guidelines 5.1 Dissertation Style The dissertation is a scholarly document written for professionals in a specific field of

12 12 study. A dissertation typically ranges from 80 to 200 pages of text and contains a thorough literature review that is typically 30 to 75 pages in length. Some qualitative dissertations may be up to 300 pages in length. The dissertation needs to follow the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). All APA guidelines should be followed; however, the formatting guidelines and the templates for the dissertation outlined in this handbook need to be followed where specified. With the approval of the dissertation chair, the personal pronoun I may be used judiciously in the candidate s manuscript and only in accordance with APA guidelines. Note: It is highly recommended that candidates retain their textbooks from their previous research and methods courses. The following textbooks will be used to guide candidates, chairs, and committee members if there are any questions regarding best practices related to research design: Quantitative Textbooks: Warner, R. (2013). Applied statistics: From bivariate through multivariate techniques (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. (2007). Educational research: An introduction (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. Green, S. B., & Salkind, N. J. (2013). Using SPSS for Windows and Macintosh: Analyzing and understanding data (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. Qualitative Textbooks: Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2015). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

13 13 Creswell, J. W. (2017). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. van Manen, M. (2001). Researching the lived experience human science for an action sensitive pedagogy. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis. Wolcott, H. F. (2008). Ethnography: A way of seeing (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Altamira Press. Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 5.2 Dissertation Research Topics Students should start considering future dissertation topics from the very beginning of their program. When opportunities exist, students should research the topic of interest in the form of literature reviews and related papers for doctoral coursework. It is important to note that a research topic is not the same as a research study. A topic is general in nature whereas a research study is very narrow in focus with defined methods to answer a particular question(s). Candidates are encouraged to pursue dissertation topics that are of personal relevance and significance; however, a candidate needs to ensure that the topic is researchable. It is wise to avoid topics that are overly ambiguous, challenging, and esoteric, thus ensuring that the dissertation process results in successful completion. The candidate should not simply choose a topic because it is an issue being addressed in his or her place of work. In fact, it is preferable for the candidate to avoid conducting workplace research if at all possible in order to avoid researcher bias. Further, it is never ethical to conduct research where the researcher has any type of authority over the participants (e.g., teacher or administrator). Ideally, the research topic should be within the expertise and research interests of potential dissertation chairs. To become familiar with the SOE faculty and their research interests, candidates are encouraged to participate in research

14 14 teams and dialogue with faculty throughout their coursework. Furthermore, the dissertation needs to align with the discipline of education. Faith integration within the dissertation is acceptable where appropriate. If a faith perspective is included, it should be well integrated throughout the manuscript (not included as an afterthought or simply tacked on). 5.3 Dissertation Research Designs Dissertations may consist of various research designs; however, all research studies for the purpose of a dissertation should include a rigorous production of scientific knowledge. For quantitative studies, standard research designs that a candidate may choose include true experiments (rarely done in education), quasi-experiments, causal-comparative designs, and correlational studies. Other quantitative forms of research that may be acceptable for a dissertation if they exhibit sufficient rigor and value to the field, and these include survey research, descriptive research, and evaluation research. For qualitative research, a candidate may choose to utilize phenomenological, grounded theory, case study, historical, and ethnographic designs. If a candidate wishes to use an alternate design, he or she will need to provide a rationale and seek approval from the Chair of Qualitative Doctoral Research or the Chair of Quantitative Doctoral Research. 5.4 Academic Honesty Honesty and integrity are highly valued at LU and in the SOE. The same principles and expectations of academic honesty and integrity in coursework and the comprehensive examination are true for the dissertation. The Liberty Way details specific definitions, penalties, and processes of reporting. The presence of plagiarism, including structural plagiarism, within any dissertation manuscript or document may result in dismissal from the program, failing the dissertation course,

15 15 and/or implementation of an intervention plan. The dissertation chair, the committee, and the SOE administration decide the final consequences of academic dishonesty. It is recognized that the dissertation needs to be an original work of the candidate, and the reuse of previous research (e.g., master s theses, publications) is not acceptable. All previous work needs to be cited according to current APA guidelines, and the manual s section on selfplagiarism should be reviewed. Properly crediting another individual s work is also an ethical imperative. 6. The Prospectus Upon enrollment in EDUC 980, the candidate develops a complete research prospectus. The Quantitative or Qualitative Dissertation Template (Appendix D or Appendix E) is used to develop the prospectus. The prospectus, including Chapters One, Two, and Three of the dissertation, is the first formal document candidates write as part of the dissertation process. The prospectus is expected to be foundational to the formal proposal and then ultimately to the dissertation manuscript. All other elements of the first three chapters of a dissertation are present. The prospectus is from 30 to 50 pages long, with a literature review (Chapter Two) of at least 15 pages. The primary assignment in EDUC 980 is the prospectus. To earn a pass on this assignment, the candidate is expected to incorporate all feedback from the EDUC 919 methods chapter submission, use correct APA formatting and correct grammar, and ensure the research design and analysis sections include scholarly research text references. It is highly recommended that the EDUC 980 course be taken when the candidate has sufficient time to devote to developing a solid prospectus. Failure to do so could result in not passing EDUC 980, and this course may only be taken twice.

16 16 Upon entrance into EDUC 989, all feedback from the RC should be discussed with the chair. Failure to implement the RC s feedback, especially in regard to research design and analysis, will result in significant delays in the dissertation process. Although the dissertation chair is in charge of the overall process, the RC must approve the manuscript at various stages along the way. Failure to obtain approval from the RC will halt the process. Note: Once a prospectus has been approved by the EDUC 980 instructor, significant changes to the topic or research design cannot be made without seeking formal approval. Requests for changes to an approved prospectus should be submitted to the Director of Ed.D. Support, who will bring the request to the appropriate department chair. 7. Proposal 7.1 Develop the Proposal After successful completion of EDUC 980, the candidate enrolls in the first three hours of EDUC 989 in his or her chair s section. If the candidate does not have a chair at this point, the candidate should enroll in EDUC 989 section A00 and refer to Section 4.1 of this handbook for information about securing a dissertation chair. Upon enrollment in EDUC 989, the candidate is provided access to the EDUC 989 Blackboard site that is facilitated by the chair. Although EDUC 989 is not a typical course with weekly assignments, the candidate should visit the course site to complete multiple required Discussion Board progress updates. EDUC 989 is an A term course (full semester) and candidates must enroll continuously. Some approved dissertation chairs are considered external, which means they are not contracted employees for the university, but rather are contracted to work on specific dissertation committees. These chairs do not have their own sections of EDUC 989 in Blackboard. Candidates with external chairs should enroll in EDUC 989 A90. There are instructions in this class for

17 17 submitting progress updates to chairs via LiveText in lieu of Discussion Board progress updates in Blackboard. Upon enrollment in EDUC 989, the candidate immediately begins working with his or her chair to develop a solid dissertation proposal. The proposal needs to consist, at a minimum, of the following: Title Page, Abstract, Table of Contents, Chapter One: Introduction, Chapter Two: Literature Review, Chapter Three: Methods, References, and Appendices with instruments, participant letters, and Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications. The proposal is approximately pages in length, with a minimum length of 30 pages for the literature review (Chapter Two). Although the proposal is normally lengthened as it is transformed into the first three chapters of the full dissertation, it may not change drastically once it is completed and approved as part of EDUC 989. The chair always reviews the proposal manuscript first. When the chair is satisfied with the proposal and has given approval, the chair disseminates the proposal manuscript or asks the candidate to provide a copy of the proposal manuscript to the committee for feedback. The candidate should expect that the proposal manuscript will go through multiple revisions before a proposal is approved for a proposal defense (note: a review may take between two to four weeks depending upon the length and quality of the manuscript). Candidates should contact the appropriate Chair of Qualitative Doctoral Research or Chair of Quantitative Doctoral Research if four weeks is exceeded or the committee chair becomes unresponsive. 7.2 Submit the Proposal for a RC Review: Milestone One Once the chair and each committee member has reviewed the proposal manuscript and has decided the candidate is ready for a proposal defense, the manuscript should be submitted for a RC review. It is important to note that the RC must approve the manuscript

18 18 before the proposal defense can take place. The chair will the proposal manuscript for a RC review to the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator at Candidates should use the following naming convention for manuscripts that are sent for review in order to ensure proper tracking: Last_First_Proposal_Draft 01. Once the proposal manuscript is submitted to the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator will send a confirmation to the chair to confirm that the manuscript was received and will forward the manuscript to the assigned RC. The RC will provide feedback about the manuscript, especially the research methods section of the proposal. RC reviews can take between two and four weeks. Once the review is complete, the RC will send the manuscript back to the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator who will forward the reviewed manuscript to the chair. If the manuscript is approved, the candidate may move forward with scheduling a proposal defense. If the manuscript is not approved, the candidate must work with his or her chair to make changes based on the RC s feedback, and the chair will resubmit the manuscript to the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator at for another review. No proposal defense can take place without approval of the RC. The RC s primary responsibility is to serve as a RC directly to the chair, not the candidate. These duties include, but are not limited to, ensuring that the chair and the committee are holding the candidate accountable for all handbook policies, dissertation guidelines, and prescribed formatting. The RC will review the entire dissertation proposal but will focus chiefly on the development of an appropriate design in Chapter Three. The candidate will not contact the RC except with the RC s approval obtained through the chair. The chair will be copied on all correspondence between the RC and the student and attend

19 19 any phone conferences between the RC and the student. 7.3 The Proposal Defense Once the candidate has incorporated and addressed all feedback from the RC, the candidate discusses with the chair his or her readiness for the proposal defense and schedules a time for the defense. Ultimately, the RC, with recommendation from the chair and committee members, decides when the manuscript is finished and ready for defense. At this stage of the process, the candidate submits his or her manuscript to SafeAssign, the university s plagiarism detection software, via the EDUC 989 SafeAssign submission link in Blackboard. It is the responsibility of the chair to check the results from this submission. The formal proposal defense normally takes place via the university s e-conferencing system (WebEx) or by phone conference. The candidate is responsible for identifying dates and times convenient for the chair and each committee member. Then, a date and time is discussed and decided upon between the candidate and the chair. Once a date and time is established, the chair is responsible for informing the rest of the committee. The chair is also responsible for facilitating the proposal defense via WebEx (instructions for setting up a WebEx meeting are provided under the Schedule a Defense section of the Candidate Portal webpage), phone conference, or other e-conferencing tool. The RC is not expected or required to attend the proposal defense. 7.4 Defend the Proposal: Milestone Two The formal dissertation proposal defense is normally about 60 minutes in length. After prayer and preliminary remarks by the chair, the candidate presents the proposal. The proposal needs to include the following: a description of the study s purpose and significance, the research question(s) and hypothesis(es) (if quantitative), and the methods (including the plans

20 20 for the research design and analysis). The presentation is approximately minutes. The following procedures are recommended for the formal proposal defense: Introductions and welcome Opening prayer by chair minute presentation of PowerPoint by candidate Questions and comments from committee Dismissal of candidate for committee deliberation Chair will contact the candidate with the committee decision and any required revisions Chair will notify the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator at of the outcome of the proposal defense within 24 hours A maximum of two proposals may be defended. Failure to successfully defend within two successive proposals could result in removal from the program or remediation (e.g., enrollment in additional coursework) before progression in the dissertation process. This decision is made by the Administrative Chair of Research in consultation with the Chair of Qualitative Research or Chair of Quantitative Research. The dissertation chair must contact to inform the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator when the candidate has successfully defended his or her proposal. Failure to do so could result in the candidate being removed from the program. Note: Once a proposal has been approved by the RC, significant changes to the topic or research design cannot be made without seeking formal approval. Requests for changes to an approved proposal should be submitted to the Director of Ed.D. Support, who will bring the request to the appropriate department chair.

21 21 8. IRB 8.1 Submit IRB Application(s) After completion of a successful proposal defense, Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and approval is needed before any participants may be recruited or data may be collected. IRB is a federally mandated body established to ensure ethical treatment of human subjects. Within 10 business days of the approved proposal defense, the candidate must submit his or her IRB application, ancillary material, and documentation of site permission(s) to his or her chair for an initial review and approval. Once the chair has reviewed and approved the IRB application (by completing the signature page of the application), the chair will complete the SOE IRB Chair Reviewer Worksheet (under the Forms section on the Candidate Portal) and submit this along with the IRB application and all other related documents to for a preliminary review within the School of Education. Candidates must develop their IRB application and ancillary material using the application and templates retrieved directly from the LU IRB website and the School of Education - IRB Overview website. Candidates must not use older applications or templates. Candidates must submit documentation of institutional permission from each research site to the IRB prior to receiving IRB approval. If study procedures will involve schools or school districts, permission should come in the form of a letter or , but if study procedures involve colleges or universities, IRB approval from those institutions will need to be obtained as directed by the specific institution s IRB. Permission from the research site may be sought prior to submitting the LU IRB application. If a candidate is unable to gain permission from the research site prior to receiving IRB approval from LU, LU s IRB will issue a conditional approval letter, which will

22 22 assist in obtaining needed permission and in subsequently completing IRB approval. Candidates must not begin recruiting participants until after receiving IRB approval. If the study will include faculty, students, or staff from a single department or group within LU, the candidate must obtain permission from the appropriate supervisor (e.g., Dean, Department Chair, Coach) and submit a signed letter or date/time stamped to LU s IRB to verify approval to use students from that department or group. The candidate may submit the application without having obtained this permission; however, the IRB will not approve the study until proof of permission has been received. If the study will include faculty, students, or staff from multiple departments or groups within LU (e.g., all sophomores, LUO), the IRB will seek administrative approval on the candidate s behalf. Candidates should NOT contact the Provost s office directly. For studies that will include only SOE students, please contact to request the Use of SOE Students Research Request Form. Upon completion of the application and all supporting documents, candidates will complete the IRB Application Checklist (see the School of Education - IRB Overview website) and submit to their chair with all IRB documents. Dissertation chairs are responsible to carefully review the candidate s IRB application and ancillary material to ensure all items on the application are fully addressed and all forms (e.g., consents/assents) align with the templates provided on the School of Education - IRB Overview website. Chairs will use the SOE IRB Chair Reviewer Worksheet and Example Reviewer Worksheet (under the Forms section on the Candidate Portal) to guide and verify their review of their candidate s application and supporting documents. Once the application and all documents meet the chair s satisfaction, the chair will the SOE IRB Chair Reviewer Worksheet and all application documents to

23 23 in a zip file for an internal SOE preliminary review under the oversight of the Chairs of Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Revisions may be requested during the preliminary review before the SOE Dissertation Coordinator will send the application and supporting documents to the IRB for the formal review. Candidates should NOT submit their application directly to the IRB. After the application is submitted by the SOE, the IRB will correspond directly with the candidate, including the chair in correspondence. 8.2 Receive IRB Approval: Milestone Three Although most IRB applications for educational research do not require full reviews, the IRB will make that decision. Candidates should refer to approval timeframes on the LU IRB website. Modifications to the application should be expected. Candidates should take care to thoroughly review the LU IRB website and incorporate all feedback to avoid delays. Execution of research CANNOT begin prior to receiving IRB approval. If data are collected or accessed prior to obtaining all necessary and full IRB approvals, the candidate will be removed from the program. Once IRB approval is obtained, the chair must forward the IRB approval letter, which includes the IRB approval number, to the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator at 9. The Dissertation 9.1 Execute the Research After IRB approval is given and all necessary consents (adults) and/or assents (minors) is given from participants, the candidate executes his or her research, including data collection and analysis. Each candidate should note that depending on his or her level of comfort, ability, and competence with the chosen quantitative or qualitative analysis, he or she may seek an outside consultant. However, the candidate is held responsible to know, to understand, and to answer for

24 24 ethical behavior, procedures, accuracy, interpretation, and integrity of the research design and analysis. 9.2 Develop Final Dissertation Manuscript Under the guidance of the committee chair, the candidate refines Chapters One through Three and writes Chapters Four and Five. The committee chair may advise the candidate to seek guidance from committee members on specific aspects or may require that the candidate seek an outside editor. The Quantitative and Qualitative Dissertation Templates are provided as appendices (Appendices D and E). A typical dissertation is around pages in length. It includes all the elements of a full dissertation. There should be a minimum of 80 pages of text for the quantitative dissertation and 130 pages of text for the qualitative dissertation. The committee chair always reviews the manuscript first. When the chair is satisfied with the manuscript and has given approval, the chair disseminates the manuscript (or chapters) or asks the candidate to provide a copy of the manuscript (or chapters) to the committee for feedback. The candidate should expect that the manuscript (or chapters) will go through multiple revisions before being approved for a defense and that a review may take between two to four weeks depending upon the length and quality of the manuscript. 9.3 Submit the Dissertation Manuscript for a RC Review: Milestone Four Once the chair and committee have reviewed the dissertation manuscript and decide the candidate is ready for the final defense, the manuscript must be submitted for a RC review. Please note that the RC must approve the manuscript before the dissertation defense can take place. The chair will the dissertation manuscript to the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator at Candidates must use the following naming convention for manuscripts that are sent for review in order to ensure proper tracking: Last

25 25 Name_First Name_Dissertation_Draft 01. Once the dissertation manuscript is submitted to the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator will send a confirmation to the chair to verify that the manuscript was received and will forward the manuscript to the assigned RC. The RC will provide feedback about the manuscript, and especially the research methods of the study. RC reviews may take between two and four weeks to be completed. Candidates should note that the submission deadline for a RC review for a final dissertation defense is eight weeks prior to the end of the semester. Any manuscripts submitted after the deadline will not be forwarded to the RC until the start of the next academic semester. Once the review is complete, the RC will return the manuscript to the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator, who will forward the reviewed manuscript to the chair. If the manuscript is fully approved, the candidate may move forward with scheduling a final defense. If the manuscript is not fully approved, the candidate must work with his or her chair to make changes based on the RC s feedback, and the chair will resubmit the manuscript to the Ed.D. Gate Coordinator at for another review. The defense cannot be scheduled until the RC has reviewed the dissertation and granted approval for a final defense. 9.4 Submit the Dissertation Manuscript for a Professional Edit During the final revision process, a professional edit of the manuscript is required. The professional edit can be performed prior to or after the defense at the discretion of the dissertation chair and/or RC based on the quality of the manuscript. This requirement may include a full edit or may simply be an APA edit. Candidates may use any professional editor. If a candidate needs help finding an editor, he or she may contact the SOE for a list of editors with experience working with SOE Ed.D. candidates:

26 Schedule a Dissertation Defense (Register for EDUC 990) Ultimately, the RC, with recommendations from the chair and committee members, decides when the manuscript is finished and ready for defense. In the rare instance where the chair and RC may disagree about the candidate s readiness for the defense, the Chair of Qualitative Doctoral Research or the Chair of Quantitative Doctoral Research may make the final decision. Upon the committee chair s approval, the candidate may register for EDUC 990 (3 hours). If a candidate originally enrolled in EDUC 989 because it was not certain he or she would defend, the candidate should complete the CRC and all assignments as usual until the time that he or she will drop EDUC 989 in order to enroll in EDUC 990. Please note that a final defense cannot be scheduled unless the candidate is enrolled in EDUC 990. Once the dissertation manuscript is approved by the RC, the candidate and chair will schedule a time for the defense. The candidate is responsible for identifying dates and times convenient for the chair, each committee member, the RC, and the university regarding the use of facilities (per the Dissertation Defense Calendar) and for providing that list of dates and times to the chair. The candidate is also responsible to complete the Dissertation Announcement Template and send the completed form to the Dissertation Coordinator (including the chair in the cc line). The defense date must be scheduled and the defense successfully completed at least four weeks prior to the last day of the semester term (deadlines for each semester are noted on the Candidate Portal). Once a date and time are established, the candidate is also responsible for preparing and forwarding the Dissertation Announcement Template and SafeAssign report of the manuscript

27 27 to the dissertation support staff at to schedule the defense. The chair should submit the dissertation manuscript to SafeAssign as a Direct Submit in any class he or she is teaching with access to SafeAssign. The chair may use EDUC 989 for this task. Chairs should note that there is no link to SafeAssign in EDUC 990, and chairs do not have access to this course, as it is overseen by the Administrative Chair of Research. Candidates should not attempt to run the SafeAssign report or any other originality report for the final dissertation manuscript. Candidates, with input and approval from their chair, may choose to conduct the final defense through distance means or as a traditional, on-campus defense. If the chair or any committee members are at a distance, they may attend the defense via the university e- conferencing system, WebEx, even if the candidate is defending on-campus. The RC will typically attend the defense, whether on-campus or as a distance defense. If a distance defense is chosen, the chair is responsible for scheduling and facilitating the WebEx meeting (instructions for setting up a WebEx meeting are provided under the Schedule a Defense section of the Candidate Portal webpage). Although the chair will schedule the WebEx portion of the defense, the defense also needs to be scheduled on the SOE s Dissertation Defense Calendar. The dissertation support staff provides the chair with information about conducting the defense via the e-conferencing system, if needed, and posts the defense time and date in the Dissertation Defense Calendar. The dissertation support staff also s an Outlook appointment to the candidate, committee, RC, as well as the faculty, staff, and doctoral students of LU SOE. Once this Outlook appointment is sent, the date and time of the defense is considered to be officially set. If the option of an on-campus defense is chosen, candidates

28 28 must not make travel arrangements prior to receiving the Outlook appointment from the dissertation support staff. The chair is responsible for informing each committee member of the date, time, and procedures of the defense. 9.6 Pre-defense One to two weeks prior to the defense, the chair, committee members, and candidate may schedule and conduct a pre-defense phone call or e-conferencing session to finalize the defense details and complete a practice defense. For those planning to do a distance defense, this time is a good opportunity to make sure WebEx works well for the candidate, chair, and committee members before the final defense date. At the chair s discretion, the pre-defense conference may include only the chair and candidate. 9.7 Preparing for the Defense The candidate is responsible for providing the final copy of the dissertation manuscript to the committee members and RC approximately two weeks prior to the dissertation defense. The candidate prepares a minute presentation of his or her dissertation for the defense; a visual presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) is required. The presentation should be sent to the chair and committee members at least one week prior to the defense. If the defense occurs on campus, the candidate should bring the presentation to the defense on a USB drive, along with three printed copies of the dissertation manuscript. The copies do not need to be bound and may be double-sided. There is a computer, projector, and a presentation clicker in the defense room. Candidates may arrive at the defense room 30 minutes ahead of time to set up for the defense. Parking is very limited, so the candidate should arrive well in advance to check-in with the Hancock Welcome Center for a parking pass and to find a parking spot near DeMoss Hall.

29 29 If the defense is completed at a distance, the candidate should check with the RC to see if he or she would like to receive a printed copy of the dissertation at least one week prior to the final defense. For distance defenses, candidates are required to use a webcam, have reliable internet and phone connections, be in professional dress, be in a professional location, and have technological support on hand, if needed, to ensure the distance defense runs smoothly. WebEx must be used for distance defenses, and the chair is responsible for setting up the WebEx meeting (instructions for setting up a WebEx meeting are provided under the Schedule a Defense section of the Candidate Portal webpage). The chair and candidate are required to have a test defense run-through on WebEx at least two days prior to the final defense in order to ensure that the technology works properly on the computers and phones that will be used on the day of the defense. Only the candidate is required share video through WebEx during the defense. 9.8 Defend the Dissertation: Milestone Five The dissertation defense takes approximately one hour to complete. The only people who should attend a defense are the candidate, the dissertation committee, the RC, LU faculty members, and SOE doctoral students. The following procedures are recommended: Introductions and welcome Opening prayer by chair and introduction of the committee and candidate minute presentation by candidate Questions and comments from committee members and chair Questions and comments from the RC Questions and comments from the SOE Faculty

30 30 Dismissal of candidate for committee and RC deliberation Re-connection with candidate for decision and discussion of revisions, as applicable Final remarks After prayer and preliminary remarks by the chair, the candidate gives the defense presentation. The presentation needs to include the following: an overview of the study s purpose and significance (both practical and empirical), the methods, the analysis, the results, limitations, discussion of the findings, and suggestions for future research. The presentation should be used as an aid. Reading from the presentation or script is not acceptable and may result in an unsuccessful defense. Following the defense presentation, the committee members and chair will ask questions, followed by the RC. Then faculty will be provided the opportunity to ask questions. Following questions and discussion, all individuals not on the committee, including the candidate, will exit the room to provide the committee the opportunity to discuss the defense. Using the Ed.D. Dissertation Defense Rubric for guidance, the committee and RC will make a decision (per Appendix B defense rubric). The candidate is invited back into the room, and the chair will inform the candidate of the outcome. The committee makes one of the following decisions: Approved with no revisions or minor revisions Provisionally approved with major revisions Not approved with recommendation to revise dissertation or write a new dissertation If the committee makes one of the first two decisions, the chair delineates the required steps and specifies a timeline for completion (usually 7-15 days). It should be noted that, at the discretion of the chair and dependent upon the number of revisions that need to be made, the

31 31 chair may require that that candidate have his or her manuscript professionally edited again. A maximum of two dissertation defenses may be completed. Failure to defend successfully within two defenses will result in removal from the program. Within 24 hours of the defense, the chair should send the Dissertation Defense Rubric (which includes a final grade) to so that the Administrative Chair of Research can post the final grade in EDUC Publication and Graduation Upon approval from the chair, the candidate follows the Jerry Falwell Library (JFL) submission guidelines for publication. These guidelines must be strictly followed and can be accessed at the following webpage: Theses and Dissertation Publishing Guidelines. Candidates should note that the final grade for EDUC 990 cannot be posted without the JFL confirmation evidencing that the dissertation is accepted. This must be forwarded to by the last day of the term in order to receive a final grade for EDUC 990. The dissertation should be submitted to the JFL no later than one week before the end of the term as it may take one to two weeks to receive the confirmation from the JFL. Additionally, the candidate is required to furnish a bound copy of his or her dissertation to the LU SOE and should also ask the chair and committee members if they would like a bound copy (Step 10 on the JFL website under the Submit and Publish Process - Step by Step section: the bindery). The candidate must select the following options: Front Printing Option Title, Full Name, Year, School, Spine Printing Option Title, Last Name, Year, Lettering Color Gold, Cover Color 588 Royal Blue, Cover Material Buckram, Printing Style Single-sided, Paper Color /Type/Size 60# White, and should not select the signature page option, as no signature page is included in the dissertation.

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