Plymouth State University Boasts First Class of ABDs

Plymouth State University’s first – cohort in the Doctor of Education (EdD) program reached a milestone this fall. They are officially ABD, or, All But Dissertation. The acronym indicates that the EdD cohort members, admitted in the spring of 2009, have successfully completed all of the required coursework in the doctoral program and passed their comprehensive examinations. They are now PSU’s first official doctoral candidates and have entered the dissertation development phase. Permission has been granted for them to begin the process of creating original research in their areas of professional interest.

Michele Craig

The first cohort has been anticipating this milestone with mixed emotions. While there is excitement and relief that the formal coursework and exams are over, some anxiety has entered the picture with concern about the next steps in the dissertation process. Michele Craig reflects, “It feels like a mix of relief to be done with classes and being overwhelmed with the fact that the real work has yet to come with the writing of the dissertation.” There is apprehension that without the formal structure of courses and meeting times, it will be easy for the dissertation work to slide letting other life issues take precedence. However, the cohort is motivated to not remain ABD. Along with the doctorate committees, cohort members are committed to continue supporting each other.
It feels like a mix of relief to be done with classes and being overwhelmed with the fact that the real work has yet to come with the writing of the dissertation.

Michele Craig

Cindy Martindill

There is strong agreement that the cohort model has been mutually beneficial throughout the courses and examinations. The cohort model “has provided a support network that I think has helped us throughout the program, and yet has not been socially suffocating. It is definitely a strength of the PSU EdD program,” writes Cindy Martindill.

June Hammond Rowan

The first year-round cohort is a diverse group, composed of community planners, K-12 public educators, specialized educators in art and adventure, higher education administration, and nursing. With such a distinct group, discussions in class were very enriching and encompassed a variety of perspectives which otherwise may have been forgotten with more focused groups. June Hammond Rowan commented, “The cohort model has been a fantastic part of the Ed.D. program. We call ourselves The Cohort for a reason. As we have come together as a learning community, I have learned so much from the other cohort members and look forward to the support we will each give each other through our dissertations.”

The dynamics of this group have evolved into a supportive culture of professionals with the common goal of earning their doctorates. Shawn Powers concurs, “I cannot conceive of this process without my cohort. The fact that 11 out of 12 have remained steadfast in this program is a testament to the cohort’s effectiveness in developing cohesion and retention.”

I cannot conceive of this process without my cohort. The fact that 11 out of 12 have remained steadfast in this program is a testament to the cohort's effectiveness in developing cohesion and retention.

Shawn Powers

Barbara OBrien

When the ABDs were asked to advise the next the year-round cohort, due to be admitted in the spring of 2011, there was enthusiastic encouragement.

Cheryl Baker

“Be ready to work hard, be ready to push yourself, be ready to support your cohort members, and work hard on isolating your wonder so you can use that area of study along the way to build your knowledge and library,” advises Barbara O’Brien. Cheryl Baker adds, “take the plunge and follow your dreams.”

 
 

One Response to “Plymouth State University Boasts First Class of ABDs”

  1. Jewel says:

    Actually hard to find practiced persons for this topic, however you seem like you understand exactly what you are posting on! Thx

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