Executive Ed.D. Introductory Dissertation Guidance

Guidelines for the Dissertation Process
  1. The doctoral comprehensive examination is the first significant milestone before students enter the dissertation development stage. To be eligible to participate in this exam, students must be in good standing and will have successfully completed all core (EPPL 601, 602, 603 and 604) and inquiry (EDUC 651, 652 and 653) courses. Students will individually submit an original work as part of the comprehensive examination. Portions of individual comprehensive examinations may become part of the collaborative dissertation. If you have not completed these courses, or carry an Incomplete for any reason, then you must resolve these grade completion issues before you can register for the exam in the fall. As you will see below, unresolved grade completion issues with these courses will prohibit your progress toward the dissertation and limit your ability to join a collaborative dissertation group.
  2. Students may choose to work in collaborative groups or, with faculty approval, independently to develop the dissertation. The following guidelines will be adhered to for those choosing to work collaboratively:           
General Guidelines    
  1. Groups may be 3 but no more than 4. Any exceptions, other than individual dissertations, will be considered and must be approved by the program faculty.
  2. The dissertation will be produced in a six-chapter format (see templates on BB). Chapters 1-3 will be designed and written collaboratively as part of the dissertation proposal. Chapters 4 (Findings) and Chapter 5 (Conclusion and Recommendations) will be researched and written collaborative as part of the final dissertation. Chapter 6 will have sections written individually by each participating member of the dissertation group and will be assimilated into a coherent whole by the group. These areas of the template will be developed and shared during selected meetings and in EPPL 781/782.
  3. Each group will be held to shared accountability to demonstrate research knowledge as part of the proposal defense and final dissertation defense.
  4. All members of the team must participate in the design of the study, development of the dissertation proposal, collection, and analyses of data, and writing the final dissertation, itself.
  5. Failure to contribute equitably to the dissertation process may result in removal from the group dissertation by the dissertation committee. 
Prior to a Proposal Defense
  1. To ensure appropriateness and quality of contributions, all students will commit to a written agreement (to be developed) before approval to move ahead with the development of a collaborative dissertation proposal.
  2. All research topics must be reviewed and approved by the Executive EdD program faculty. Most topics will be aligned with identified research areas provided by the Executive EdD program faculty. Individual exceptions to the identification and selection of a topic may be allowed, with review and approval by the Executive EdD program faculty.
During the Dissertation Study Implementation Process 
  1. As part of the dissertation development process, each member will keep a reflective journal of the research process from the start of the project through its conclusion. This journal may be reviewed by your dissertation committee at intervals throughout the process.
  2. Periodic check points will be established for groups to report on research progress and team development.
  3. All members of the group must contribute to the proposal defense to include the presentation and response to dissertation committee member questions. 
Final Dissertation Defense and Dissertation Submission
  1. All members of the group must contribute to the dissertation defense to include the presentation and response to dissertation committee member questions.
  2. Dissertations will be submitted to ProQuest individually; however, some components of the study will be researched and written collaboratively.
  3. Signed honor codes and tables of specifications identifying the workload distribution will be included as appendices in each submission. The table will include a list of work tasks and chapter sections with identification of the roles for each team member, such as the lead author, a contributing author, or an editor.