Dissertation Design – EDCO 900

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 02/03/2022

Course Description

A review of the process of developing research designs and conducting primary research. Students will develop a research prospectus that is anchored in current theory and research in the community counseling context which will serve as a basis for their doctoral dissertation proposal.

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


Counselors is increasingly required to demonstrate the efficacy of their interventions and treatment strategies.  Within the helping profession, there is increasing pressure to provide treatments that are evidence-based.  It is no longer professionally acceptable for counselors to rely simply on their experience and previous training in a particular theory or approach to counseling to treat specific kinds of clinical problems such as depression, anxiety, and addictions. We are currently in an era of accountability.  This accountability also applies to professional Christian counselors, as the profession will face growing demands to demonstrate efficacy. Moreover, the field of Christian counseling and community care makes knowledge claims about human behavior, developmental processes, spirituality and mental health functioning, and the importance of close relationships. If we believe our knowledge claims have practical, real-life applications, Christian academia has a responsibility to demonstrate that these knowledge claims can have practical applications that can be empirically validated. To this end, doctoral level practitioners and academics must be able to appropriately consume the current scientific research such that they can identify potential strengths and weakness of research reports and understand how such data can be interpreted and generalized to areas of interests. The purpose of this course is designed to help students acquire an advanced understanding of research design and statistical techniques necessary to not only understand and consume the scientific literature in and around the field of counseling an community care, but to also produce a high quality doctoral dissertation that meaningfully contributes to the scientific literature. 

Course Assignment

Course Requirement Checklist

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

The student will submit the dissertation topic direction which he/she is planning to research and refine.

Article Notes Quiz (5)

Identify an area of interest, search the online library databases, and carefully acquire and read 50 different peer-reviewed articles throughout the course relating to this topic.  Select 50 or more peer-reviewed articles related to your topic to create article notes.  These may be from your EDCO 770 course (previously EDCO 737) bibliography (if you’ve taken this course).  Most of the articles should be relatively recent (last 10 years). You will create one or more notes for each citation.  Submit 10 articles per quiz. See Canvas materials for more information.

Literature Review Outline Assignment

Based on what you’ve found in your article notes, create an outline for your potential literature review.  See Canvas materials for more information.

Literature Review Draft Assignment

Based on what you’ve found in researching your topic (article notes, lit review outline), develop a literature review rough draft.  See Canvas materials for more information.

Literature Review Final Assignment

You will update your literature review draft based on my feedback. See Canvas materials for more information.

Methods Draft Assignment

You will write up a draft Methods for your study.  See Canvas materials for more information.

Methods Final Assignment

You will update your Methods draft based on my feedback.  See Canvas materials for more information.

Quiz: CITI Training

Students will complete CITI training, which is an online training course on ethics in research. To complete training, follow the instructions on this website: http://www.liberty.edu/academics/graduate/irb/index.cfm?PID=27730.

CITI training allows users to select which subjects to complete, and students only need to complete the social and behavioral researchers’ sections for this course. If students have previously completed CITI training within the last two years, they do not need to complete it again if they submit proof of completion.