Dissertation Topic – EDCO 716

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course orients the student to the overall dissertation development and writing process specific to the Ed.D. in Community Care and Counseling program.




For most degree programs, the dropout rate for students who have completed all their coursework and only have their dissertation remaining hovers around 50%. Proper understanding of the dissertation process will reduce this percentage.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the process of topic identification, literature review, question formulation, and research design development for the writing of a dissertation.
  2. Integrate biblical worldview principles into the dissertation writing process.
  3. Identify a potential dissertation topic and research approach.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and all Blackboard-posted presentations and materials.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Class Introductions

In Module/Week 1, you will create a brief personal biography introducing yourself to the class which includes some information on your initial dissertation topic interests (if you have any). If you don’t have a clue about what you want to research, that is fine. Just state that. You will find you are not alone. Your brief biography/dissertation interests can be a video or written post. Here is a non-exhaustive list on what it may include: Your current job, cultural/family background, hobbies, a recent picture, and interest areas for your dissertation. Share only what you are comfortable with and feel free to add any other details that you wish.

Optional Webex Meetings with Instructor

I will reserve an hour each week specifically for any students in the class who want to talk about the dissertation process and their particular dissertation ideas. This is a wonderful opportunity to get the specific information you need to help you get started with how to investigate your ideas. The hour of my weekly meeting opportunity will vary. For example, one week I may have an early morning dissertation office hour and the next I may have a late dissertation office hour. You are strongly encouraged to attend as many of these meetings as possible in the 8-week class, so be sure to seize the opportunity to attend when you see it works with your schedule. Several students may attend at the same time.

(Meets learning outcomes A-C)

Dissertation Question & Answer Discussion Board Forum (DQAC) (4)

In week 2 (or earlier if you like), you will post a thread to let me know your current thoughts on your dissertation topic and your dissertation status.

The Dissertation Question & Answer Center (DQAC) will be our central hub of text-based communication around your dissertation.  Your first required post in week 2 should give me a sense of where you are at in your dissertation topic development currently.  Some students are further along the process than others.  That is fine because I will keep you moving in your dissertation development process wherever you are at.  Just give me a sense of your dissertation status right now in your first post.  After week 2, let's keep using the thread you posted each week to keep track of your progress, my feedback, and your goals all in one place.  You can present a dissertation idea, update, or ask a question in your thread.  You can also post a response to other students' questions in their threads if you like. Subscription to your original post thread is required.  That way you can tell immediately when I reply to you and I can tell when you have a new post for me. To subscribe to your original post thread, click on your thread, move the cursor and an icon will appear allowing you to subscribe in the upper right.  Click on it and an email message will confirm successful subscription. When I post a reply, you will receive an email alert. If you are subscribed and do not receive these email alerts, please contact the Help Desk.  You are encouraged to use the DQAC as much as you like to keep moving on your project (i.e., go beyond the required posts to keep communicating with me about your project). Use the DQAC as if you were talking with me and would ask me a question in my office or in a class. See Blackboard in the Course Guides & Assignments section, the Assignment Instructions folder for further information.

(Meets learning outcome A-C)

Current Dissertation Proposal Information: Career Goals, Topic, Research Approach, Sampling Strategy, & Research Pool Identification

After you review the online course materials for all the weeks up to and including this assignment, you will submit a paragraph describing your career goals, potential topic, research approach (whether you believe you will be doing a quantitative or qualitative research design), strategy for getting your sample, and research pool. A research pool is a group of professors and/or LU adjuncts who have the expertise to supervise the completion of your dissertation in your topic area. This is due in week 6 to permit revisions, updates, and further interaction with the instructor if necessary.

(Meets learning outcomes C)