Advanced Research Seminar – COUC 870

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 11/30/2021

Course Description

This course is designed to assist doctoral students in clarifying, developing, and completing their dissertations by examining both the methodological and practical issues involved in research designs and advanced data analysis procedures. Under the supervision of the instructor, students will present their own dissertation research ideas to the seminar participants for discussion, critique, and advice. Specific attention will be given to insuring that students craft research questions that build upon previous research and select an appropriate research design and analytic strategy. Concerns about research quality and rigor will be addressed in detail. Additionally, institutional guidelines regarding thesis and dissertation policies and procedures, the Human Research Review Committee application, publication options, timelines, committee membership, etc., will be reviewed.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Advanced doctoral students are in a position of synthesizing and integrating their previous learning skills with the prospect of conducting original research in their field of interest. This course is designed to enhance their research skills by drawing together the knowledge, insights, and skills of their previous learning and combining this knowledge with advanced research design methodology and statistical analysis. In the process of dialoguing with other students and critiquing their research questions, research methodology, and data analytic strategies, each student will also present his or her research questions and dialogue with the class and the professor to develop the core knowledge and skills needed to produce a dissertation that will make a meaningful contribution to the research, theory, and practice of professional counseling within a Christian worldview.

Method of Instruction: This 16 week course is delivered using an intensive format. Students attend 36-40 hours of classroom-based instruction at our campus in Lynchburg. In addition to the one week of class time, students are expected to complete additional work online both pre and post intensive over the duration of the semester.

Course Assignment

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

The student will share information about the general topic direction in which he or she plans to conduct research.

The student will make notes on 75 scholarly, peer-reviewed articles prior to attending the intensive.

The student will participate in all in-class activities and submissions.

The student will complete a quiz that requires the student to submit either Chapter 2 of the manuscript, or Chapters 1–3 of the manuscript. This upload will not initiate a formal review of the manuscript; however, this manuscript upload will provide evidence of progress within the course, and track progress within the program.

Quiz: Dispositions Reflection

This Dispositions Reflection quiz will ask you to rate yourself on the nine dispositions required for this program by our accrediting bodies using the following scale:

  • Exceeds expectations – I believe I do this exceptionally well.
  • Clearly meets expectations – I believe I am able to do this in an appropriate way as expected for graduate students at my current position in the program.
  • Adequately meets expectations – I believe I do this but could use improvement and growth in this dispositional area.
  • Does not meet expectations – I believe I do not do this well and could use improvement.

You can review the Dispositions material located in the Learn sections of Module 1: Week 1 and Module 8: Week 8. We ask that you answer these questions in an open and honest way. There are no “correct” answers for the rating questions quiz, simply answer them honestly and you will receive full credit.

The final question on the quiz is a self-reflection essay question, where you will specifically identify the following:

  1. One dispositional area in which you believe you need to improve
  2. One step you will take to improve in the above-mentioned area